Back and Pelvic Pain in an Underserved United States Pregnant Population: A Preliminary Descriptive Survey

Clayton D. Skaggs, Heidi Prather, Gilad Gross, James W. George, Paul A. Thompson, D. Michael Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of back pain and treatment satisfaction in a population of low-socioeconomic pregnant women. Methods: This study used a cross-sectional design to determine the prevalence of self-reported musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy for 599 women. Women completed an author-generated musculoskeletal survey in the second trimester of their pregnancy that addressed pain history, duration, location, and intensity, as well as activities of daily living, treatment frequency, and satisfaction with treatment. Results: Sixty-seven percent of the total population reported musculoskeletal pain, and nearly half presented with a multi-focal pattern of pain that involved 2 or more sites. Twenty-one percent reported severe pain intensity rated on a numerical rating scale. Eighty percent of women experiencing pain slept less than 4 hours per night and 75% of these women took pain medications. Importantly, 85% of the women surveyed perceived that they had not been offered treatment for their musculoskeletal disorders. Conclusion: Multi-focal musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy was prevalent in this underserved patient population. The pain in this population negatively affected sleep and treatment appeared inadequate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-134
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Low Back Pain
  • Obstetrics
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of Life


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