Authors: Fischer, Melissa DPT1; Boissonnault, Jill PT, PhD, Board-Certified Women's Health Clinical Specialist2; Colquitt, Jose DPT3
Low back pain (LBP) during pregnancy is very common, with prevalence ranges reported between 20% and 90%.” Up to 1 in 4 individuals also report pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP), which can lead to functional impairments such as decreased tolerance to standing, ambulation, and sitting. Although prevalence of these conditions is high, lumbopelvic symptoms, especially during pregnancy, should not be overlooked, due to potential sinister causes. LBP in pregnancy may be mechanical in nature, but could also indicate more severe problems. In rare cases, tumors or fractures may be the cause of PPGP or pregnancy-related LBP.
This case report highlights a 35-year-old patient who presented to outpatient PT with thoracic and lumbopelvic pain worsening with the onset of pregnancy. The patient had complaints of thoracic and lumbar pain worsening as the day progressed and aggravated with sustained postures. The case report reviews the various aspects of the examination, evaluation, patient goals, and selected interventions. Ultimately, this case highlights the importance of differential diagnosis and how even symptoms that may appear mechanical in nature may have a more insidious cause.