International Urogynecology Journal vol:26 issue:11 pages:1575-1586
Introduction and hypothesis: Several studies described the evidence of prenatal physiotherapy for one symptom, but none made an overview. We provided a systematic review on the effectiveness of prenatal physiotherapy.
Methods: A full search was conducted in three electronic databases (Embase, PubMed/MEDLINE and PEDro), selecting randomized controlled trials concerning prenatal physiotherapy. Methodological quality was assessed using the PEDro scale.
Results: We identified 1249 studies and after exclusions 54 studies were included concerning the evidence of prenatal physiotherapy. The majority of studies indicated a preventative effect for low back pain/pelvic girdle pain, weight gain, incontinence and perineal massage. For leg edema, fear and prenatal depression, the efficacy was only based on one study per symptom. No preventative effect was found for gestational diabetes, while literature concerning gestational hypertensive disorders was inconclusive. Regarding the treatment of low back pain/pelvic girdle pain and weight gain, most therapies reduced respectively pain and weight. Evidence regarding exercises for diabetes was contradictory and for incontinence only minimally researched. Foot massage and stockings reduced respectively leg edema and leg symptoms. Concerning gestational hypertensive disorders, perineal pain, fear and prenatal depression no treatment studies were performed.
Conclusions: The majority of studies indicated that prenatal physiotherapy had a preventative role for low back pain/ pelvic girdle pain, weight gain, incontinence and pelvic pain. Evidence for the remaining symptoms was inclusive or only minimally investigated. Regarding treatment, most studies indicated a reduction of low back pain/pelvic girdle pain , weight gain, incontinence and the symptoms of leg edema.