Muscle relaxation and nerve stimulation helps relieve low back pain during pregnancy: Study
Australia: Kinesio Taping and progressive muscle relaxation therapy may help to decrease pain in pregnant women with low back pain (LBP), suggests a recent study in the journal Physical Therapy. Further, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation was found to be beneficial for improving physical function.
More than 50% of the pregnant women experience pregnancy related LBP that affects daily life activities. Although many intervention have been proposed, the optimal treatment for the condition remains unclear. The purpose of this study by Lingxiao Chen, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, and colleagues was to compare conservative care strategies on their safety and efficacy for women with pregnancy-related LBP through systematic review with pairwise meta-analysis and network meta-analysis.
The researchers searched the online databases from inception to November 2019. Randomized controlled trials and observational controlled studies were included without restriction to language, sample size, or duration of follow-up. Two independent investigators extracted the data and assessed the risk of bias. The quality of evidence was evaluated through Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE).
In total twenty-three studies were included in the qualitative synthesis (18 randomized controlled trials were included in the network meta-analysis).
Key findings of the study include:
- For women with LBP during pregnancy, progressive muscle relaxation therapy (mean difference = −3.96; moderate-quality evidence) and Kinesio Taping (mean difference = −3.71; low-quality evidence) reduced pain intensity (Visual Analog Scale, range = 0–10) compared with placebo.
- Moderate-quality evidence suggested that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation improved physical function (mean difference = −6.33; Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, range = 0–24) compared with placebo.
"Our findings demonstrate that for patients with LBP during pregnancy, progressive muscle relaxation therapy and Kinesio Taping may help to decrease pain, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may improve physical function," wrote the authors.
"This review helps fill the gap in evidence regarding optimal treatment for pregnancy-related LBP," concluded the authors.
"Comparative Efficacy and Safety of Conservative Care for Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis," is published in the journal Physical Therapy.