Healthcare practitioner utilisation for back pain, neck pain and/or pelvic pain during pregnancy: an analysis of 1835 pregnant women in Australia.Int J Clin Pract. 2016 Oct; 70(10):825-831.IJ
Back, neck and/or pelvic pain are common symptoms experienced by pregnant women. Although pregnant women are known to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) frequently, no research to date has provided in-depth examination of healthcare practitioner utilisation of pregnant women who experience back, neck and/or pelvic pain.
A sub-study of 1835 pregnant women from the nationally representative Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH). Demographics, health status and healthcare utilisation measures were analysed for symptoms of back, neck and/or pelvic pain during pregnancy, using regression models.
During their pregnancy, 39.5% women experienced back pain, 12.4% experienced neck pain and 16.3% women experienced pelvic pain. Pregnant women were more likely to consult a massage therapist for their back pain (32.3%) and neck pain (39.9%), and another alternative practitioner (27.3%) or obstetrician (22.1%) for pelvic pain, while some women did not seek treatment (<30%). Women who sought help for each symptom reported significantly worse levels of mental and physical health across most SF-36 domains (P<.05). Women without health insurance, or pregnancy-related healthcare insurance were less likely to seek treatment.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
Pregnant women experiencing back, neck and/or pelvic pain frequently consult CAM practitioners, particularly if they have healthcare insurance. There is a need for all healthcare practitioners providing maternity care to enquire about possible back, neck and pelvic pain amongst women in their care and be cognisant of possible corresponding CAM use for such symptoms.