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    The Efficacy of Lumbar Support on Pain, Disability, and Motor Control in Women With Postpartum Pelvic Girdle Pain: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Jafarian, Fahimeh-Sadat, Jafari-Harandi, Mahmonir, Yeowell, Gillian ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3872-9799 and Sadeghi-Demneh, Ebrahim (2022) The Efficacy of Lumbar Support on Pain, Disability, and Motor Control in Women With Postpartum Pelvic Girdle Pain: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 11 (7). e40553-e40553. ISSN 1929-0748

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    Background: Pregnancy-related posterior pelvic girdle pain (PPGP) is one of the most important clinical manifestations of postpartum back pain. Those affected often complain of discomfort during daily activities. It is hypothesized that altered motor control is associated with perceived pain. Pelvic support can regulate possible underlying altered motor control mechanisms and decrease pain. However, the influence of a lumbosacral orthosis, which is broader support that allows for a wider contact area and more skin sensory stimulation to restore proper motor function, has not yet been investigated in women with postpartum PPGP. Objective: This study investigates the efficacy of broader lumbar support and narrower pelvic support on pain, proprioception, disability, and muscle strength in women with pregnancy-related PPGP. Methods: This study will be a single-center, 3-armed, participant-blinded, randomized controlled trial. In total, 84 women diagnosed with pregnancy-related PPGP will be recruited and randomly assigned into 3 groups. Intervention groups A and B will receive pelvic and lumbar supports, respectively. Group C (control) will receive only a patient education leaflet containing advice on strengthening exercises, comfortable positions, and other practical information. The study outcomes are pain, effort score during the active straight leg raising test, maximum isometric hip flexion force, maximum isometric hip external rotation force, maximum isometric trunk rotation force, and joint position reproduction of hip abduction. The study outcomes will be measured at 4 time points: baseline (T1), immediately after the intervention (T2), 4 weeks following interventions began (at this time, the intervention period is completed) (T3), and 1 week after discontinuing the interventions (T4) to evaluate the possible lasting effects of wearing supports. Multivariate analysis of variance will be used to test between- and within-group differences. Results: Recruitment for this study will be started in summer 2022 and is expected to be completed by the end of fall 2022. Conclusions: This study will examine the efficacy of broader lumbar support as an early rehabilitative treatment for women receiving postpartum posterior pelvic pain support compared to those receiving a narrower pelvic support. We expect the broader lumbar support to impact pain management and disability better than the current narrower pelvic belt. Long-term follow-up studies will help determine whether such lumbosacral orthosis reduces pain and improves daily activities in women with pregnancy-related PPGP.

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