Physical Activities Centered on the Trunk Proves to be Beneficial for Pregnant Women

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Physical Activities Centered on the Trunk Proves to be Beneficial for Pregnant Women

Regular and moderate exercise during pregnancy can offer women significant benefits like reducing high blood pressure, helping to control weight gain, improving sleep, reducing the risk of diabetes, and improving mood and so on. Watelain E and colleagues evaluated the effect of a trunk exercise program on pain, quality of life (QoL) and physical health (PH) in the late pregnancy and post-partum periods as well as baby weight, size and delivery.

The study included 90 nulliparous women were involved. The participants were assigned to a training group (TG) or to a control group (CG), based on their voluntarism. TG carried out a structured program with exercises for flexibility, balance and strengthening for the majority of skeletal muscles specifically for the spinal ones, between the 24th and 36th week of pregnancy. Pain was assessed in both TG and CG at the 1) Beginning of the program (T1); 2) End of the program (T2); 3) Two months' post-partum (T3). The QoL was assessed at T1, T2 and T3, and PH at T1 and T3. Mann-Whitney test was used to make a comparison between TG and CG on each period and as well compare the periods two by two.

Findings revealed no significant difference at T1 between the two groups in 1) pain intensity (pain interference p=0.317); 2) QoL (p=0.18); 3) PH (flexibility p=0.06; walking p=0.85). At T2, women of TG when compared to CG, expressed- lower pain intensity in legs (p=0.029), lower back (p <0.0001), upper back (p=0.022), pelvis (p=0.017), groins (p=0.043), lower pelvis (p=0.009) and interference of pain (p<0.0001)). At T3, TG had a lower intensity of pain than CG, in lower back and upper back (p<0.0001) and interference of pain (p<0.0001). The scores of QoL observed were best in TG compared to CG at T2 (p<0.0001) and at T3 (p<0.0001). No difference was found in PH of TG compared to CG in T1 but was different in in T3 (flexibility p=0.002, walking, balance, curling-ups and Ruffier p<0.0001). TG was found to be four times less likely to have a caesarean (p=0.049) and had 4.5 h less of labor time (p<0.0001). No difference was observed between the TG vs CG concerning the weight (p=0.22) and the baby's size (p=0.11).

Therefore, it was concluded that strengthening exercises centered on the trunk reduces the pain, improve QoL and PH in late pregnancy and at two months in the post-partum period. Strengthening exercises also help in easy delivery.


Phys Sportsmed. 2017 Jul 5

Link to the source:

Original title of article:

Benefits of physical activities centered on the trunk for pregnant women


Watelain E, Pinti A  et. al.

Therapeutic, Pain, Lower back, Efficacy, Quality of life
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