OBJECTIVE: Pelvic girdle pain is a frequent cause of sick leave among pregnant women in Denmark. Studies regarding prevention of pelvic girdle pain are sparse. The aim of this study was to examine the association between physical exercise and pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy.
STUDY DESIGN: A nested case-control study within the Danish National Birth Cohort (n = 5304).
METHODS: This study used self-reported data on pelvic girdle pain obtained from an interview six months after childbirth. Information on physical exercise was obtained from the pregnancy interview around gestational week 16. The association was estimated using logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Physical exercise in pregnancy was associated with decreased risk of overall pelvic girdle pain (OR = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.77-0.99, p = 0.028). Tests for trend indicated decreasing odds for pelvic girdle pain with increasing number of hours per week spent on exercise (p < 0.001). Compared to no exercise, swimming was associated with a decreased risk of pelvic girdle pain (OR = 0.73; 95% CI: 0.58-0.91, p = 0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest a possible protective effect of physical exercise on pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy.
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