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Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy – underlying mechanisms

In our project we are examining how movement and muscle activation patterns relate to pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy.

About the project

We have used biomechanical research methods measuring 3 dimensional movement (3D motion), force and electromyography (EMG), as well as collected data on self- reported function and disability and clinical examinations in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain (PGP), pregnant and non-pregnant women without PGP. The study includes a total of 75 women and has a cross sectional design.


The overall objective is to increase our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy by exploring movement and muscle activation during activities of daily living and functional tests in pregnant women with PGP and pregnant and non-pregnant women without PGP. We will also explore the association between movement- and muscle activation patterns and patient reported symptoms and disability and outcome of clinical tests.


Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is one of the major subgroups of lumbo-pelvic pain related to pregnancy. The evaluation of function and disability is essential in the clinical assessment and treatment of pregnant women with PGP. Even though only one functional test (the Active Straight Leg Raise test, ASLR) is recommended by international guidelines for PGP, other functional tests assumed to assess the ability to transfer load in a weight-bearing position (the Stork test)  and motor function (the TUG test)  are used in clinical physiotherapy practice for this patient population. However, to increase our understanding and knowledge of these functional tests and pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy, there is an apparent need to further investigate these functional tests in pregnant women with PGP.

Furthermore, there is evidence that pregnant women move differently than non-pregnant women during activities of daily living such as walking, sitting, standing and rising up from a  sitting position. Only a few biomechanical studies have examined movement and muscle function in pregnant women with PGP, and further research is warranted to quantify movement and muscle function during activities of daily living in pregnant women with PGP compared to both pregnant and non-pregnant women without PGP.  

Increased knowledge about this health condition should assist in improved diagnostics and in the choice of physiotherapy treatment for pregnant women with PGP.


  • The Norwegian Fund for Post-Graduate Training in Physiotherapy


  • Norwegian School of Sports Sciences (NIH)

Start - finish

2013 - 2018

Published Aug. 24, 2017 2:31 PM - Last modified Aug. 25, 2017 2:27 PM


  • Hilde Stendal Robinson
  • Lene Christensen
  • Nina Køpke Vøllestad
  • Eva Bakke
  • Britt Stuge
  • Jan Cabri, Professor, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences (NIH)
  • Vidar Jakobsen, Overengineer, Norwegian School of Sports Science (NIH)
Detailed list of participants