Affiliations: [a] School of Health Sciences (HESAV), University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO), Lausanne, Switzerland
| [b] Laboratory of Functional Anatomy, Faculty of Motor Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium
| [c] Laboratory of Anatomy, Biomechanics and Organogenesis – Faculty of Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium
Corresponding author: Professor Jeanne Bertuit, School of Health Sciences (HESAV), Avenue de Beaumont 21, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel.: +41 21316 81 33; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Many pregnant women develop pelvic pain during their pregnancy. Pregnancy can modify pelvic geometry while causing micro-mobility, leading to some instability, which will manifest itself through pain and an increase of tiredness when walking. Pelvic belts could restore stability and help reduce pain, thus facilitating motor activities such as walking. However, there are no guidelines on the use of pelvic belts. PURPOSE:The objective of this study was to compare the effects of two types of belts and several belt positions on gait parameters in pregnant women. METHODS:Forty-six pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain and 23 non-pregnant women were recruited. The motor task consisted in several gait trials at three different speeds, with and without pelvic belt. Temporal and spatial parameters were analysed. Two pelvic belts (narrow and flexible or broad and rigid) and several positions (high or low) were used. An analysis of variance for repeated measures (ANOVA) assessed the effects of group (pregnant/not pregnant), gait speed and belt. RESULTS:Gait parameters did not show any significant difference according to belt type or position. For pregnant women, gait velocity was reduced. Gait cycle phases were modified by an increase of stance phase and double support. Gait pattern displayed alterations during pregnancy. These changes favour a more stable and safe gait. Conclusion:There was no difference between belt positions (high and low) or between belt types (narrow and flexible or broad and rigid) on gait parameters. This suggests that all belt types and positions could be advised to pregnant women.
Keywords: Pregnant women, gait, pelvic girdle pain, pelvic belt