Objective: The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review (SR) of the literature to assess the effectiveness of chiropractic care options commonly used for pregnancy-related low back pain (LBP), pelvic girdle pain (PGP), or combination pain for both experienced practitioners and students of chiropractic.
Methods: We included procedures that were commonly used by chiropractors and not requiring additional certifications. Outcomes were self-reported changes in pain or disability. We used the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network checklists to assess outcomes. For strength of evidence, we used the adapted version of the US Preventive Services Task Force criteria as described in the UK report.
Results: Fifty articles were included from 18 SRs, 30 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and 2 cohort studies. Pregnancy LBP (7 SRs and 12 RCTs): moderate, favorable evidence for electrotherapy and osteopathic manipulative therapy; inconclusive, favorable strength for chiropractic care, exercise, and support devices; and inconclusive, unclear strength for spinal manipulative therapy. Pregnancy PGP (4 SRs and 4 RCTs): inconclusive, favorable strength for exercise; and inconclusive, unclear evidence for patient education, information, and support devices. Pregnancy LBP or PGP (13 SRs and 12 RCTs): moderate, unclear evidence for complementary and alternative medicine; moderate, unclear evidence for exercise; inconclusive, favorable evidence for multimodal care, patient education, and physiotherapy; and inconclusive, unclear strength for spinal manipulative therapy, osteopathic manipulative therapy, and support devices.
Conclusion: Although there is a lack of conclusive evidence, many of the interventions have moderate or unclear but favorable evidence.
Author keywords: Chiropractic; Pregnancy; Low Back Pain; Pelvic Girdle Pain; Musculoskeletal Manipulations; Systematic Review
Author affiliations: CAW: Department of Research, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; KP: Parker Research Center, Parker University, Dallas, Texas, United States; CD, SdSO: Undergraduate Department, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; KS: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; CH: Department of Research, Texas Chiropractic College, Pasadena, Texas, United States
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