Faculty Advisor(s)

Kirsten Buchanan

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Zachary Chaloner


Background and Purpose: Low back pain and lumbar hyper-mobility are common during and after pregnancy. Postpartum low back laxity can contribute to LBP and can become chronic if not addressed. Core stabilization exercises (CSE) have been shown to improve function and reduce pain in patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain due to lumbar instability. Additionally, Medical Exercise Therapy (MET) has shown good outcomes in reducing pain in patients with LBP but has not been thoroughly investigated in the treatment of chronic post partum LBP. There is limited research reporting the use of a combined treatment protocol utilizing CSE and MET in the treatment of chronic low back pain in post-partum women. Case Description: The patient was a 28-year-old female with bilateral hip and lumbosacral pain 2 years post partum. Intervention consisted of core stabilization exercise (CSE) using medical exercise therapy (MET) and manual lumbar traction. Outcome measures included the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS), Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS), and Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS). Outcomes: Results from initial evaluation to discharge (Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) – 48/80 to 62/80; Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) – 4/10 to 7/10; Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) – 7/10 to 4/10) demonstrated decreased pain, increased ability to return to prior level of function, and improved ability to take care of her two-year-old daughter. Discussion: Low back pain after pregnancy can be difficult to manage. This case report demonstrated a combined intervention of CSE and MET decreased pain and increased function in a 28-year-old female presenting with post-partum LBP. Future studies should investigate the combined effects of CSE and MET in a larger population of patient with LBP.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here:




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