Low Back Pain in Pregnancy a Major Health Issue in Iran

Researchers urge implementation of strategies to reduce Iran's high prevalence of low back pain
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Low back pain (LBP) in pregnancy is an extremely common health problem in Iran, affecting more than 84 percent of women at some point in their pregnancies, according to a study in the October issue of The Spine Journal.

Mohammad A. Mohseni-Bandpei, Ph.D., of the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences in Tehran, Iran, and colleagues sent questionnaires to 1,100 randomly-selected pregnant Iranian women eliciting information on LBP, demographics, and lifestyle. Those reporting LBP used a 100-mm visual analog scale to assess severity of pain and the Oswestry low back disability questionnaire to assess disability.

The researchers found that LBP prevalence was 40.2 percent at the time of the questionnaire, 55.9 percent for the last month, 59.4 within the past six months, 76.2 percent within the last year, and 84.1 percent over a lifetime. For those with LBP, the mean pain level was 51.1 mm on the visual analog scale. Standing for a long time was the most significant aggravating cause of LBP (76.3 percent), while rest offered the most relief (87.7 percent). LBP correlated with prior LBP history (odds ratio, 2.77) and LBP during prior pregnancy (odds ratio, 3.09).

"With adequate evidence available on the prevalence of LBP in pregnancy and factors that influencing the risk of developing LBP, more resources should be allocated to prevent such an injury and further research should focus on evaluating the effect of different preventive strategies to reduce the impact of such a major public health issue," the authors write.

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