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Lumbopelvic pain, anxiety, physical activity and mode of conception: a prospective cohort study of pregnant women
  1. Emeline Lardon1,2,
  2. Audrey St-Laurent1,
  3. Véronique Babineau3,
  4. Martin Descarreaux1,
  5. Stephanie-May Ruchat1
  1. 1 Department of Human Kinetics, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
  2. 2 Institut Franco-Européen de Chiropraxie, Paris, France
  3. 3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de la Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec, affiliated to the University of Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stephanie-May Ruchat; stephanie-may.ruchat{at}


Objectives Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain (LPP) is a frequent condition known to significantly affect women in their daily life. The aetiology of pregnancy-related LPP pain is still not clearly established but the mode of conception has been suggested to contribute to LPP. Anxiety related to fertility treatments may be one of the contributing factors. The primary objectives of this study were to determine the evolution of LPP prevalence and severity, and anxiety throughout pregnancy in women who conceived spontaneously (SP) or after fertility treatments (FT). A further aim was to examine the relationship between pregnancy-related LPP severity and anxiety. The secondary objective was to determine the evolution of physical activity and their correlation with the severity of pregnancy-related LPP.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting Pregnant women were recruited through physicians’ referrals, posters and newspaper advertisements in the local and surrounding communities (hospital, maternity care clinic, prenatal centres, sports centres, local university) in the city of Trois-Rivières, Canada.

Participants 59 pregnant women (33 SP and 26 FT) were assessed during the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Primary and secondary outcome measures Pregnancy-related LPP prevalence and severity (primary), trait and state anxiety, and physical activity levels (secondary).

Results There was no relationship between the mode of conception and the outcome measures. The prevalence and severity of LPP increased over the course of pregnancy (time effect, p<0.0001) whereas trait anxiety decreased from early to mid-pregnancy (time effect, p=0.03). Activity limitations increased throughout pregnancy (time effect, p<0.0001) and physical activity levels decreased (time effect, p<0.0001). The severity of LPP was positively correlated with activity limitations (r=0.51 to 0.55) but negatively with physical activity levels (r=−0.39 to −0.41).

Conclusions Maternal health-related factors, such as LPP, anxiety and physical activity, are not different in women who conceived spontaneously or after fertility treatments. The more LPP was severe, the more the women were physically limited and inactive.

  • pregnancy
  • fertility treatments
  • anxiety
  • physical activity
  • lumbopelvic pain

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  • Contributors S-MR, MD and VB contributed to the study concept and design; EL and AS-L acquired the data; S-MR, MD and EL performed the statistical analysis and interpreted the data; EL and SMR drafted the manuscript; MD, AS-L and VB critically reviewed the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by a start-up grant from the Univeristé du Québec à Trois-Rivières (Institutional funds for research).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the local Research Ethics Committees (CER-2015-003 and CER-15-214-07.10)

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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