Musculoskeletal Issues and Care for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Hyunwoo June Choo, Sarah K. Hwang*, Christina K. Hynes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This paper seeks to review the important musculoskeletal issues that arise for pregnant and postpartum women. It outlines the background, diagnosis, and management of these musculoskeletal issues; reviews the existing and recent literature; and offers clinical opinions from the perspective of women’s health PM&R physicians. Recent Findings: Existing and recent literature on pelvic girdle pain, lumbosacral back pain, pubic symphysis separation, transient osteoporosis, rectus diastasis, and postpartum neuropathy offer some new insights on management, which is often context-dependent. Management requires individualized physical therapy and precautions for delivery and postpartum. Emerging alternatives like acupuncture for pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and surgical reconstruction for diastasis recti abdominis (DRA) may be considered. Summary: The various musculoskeletal pathologies that occur in the peripartum period can produce significant disability for women. With timely diagnosis and treatment, however, these musculoskeletal issues are often transient in nature and do not result in long-term functional deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-500
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Lumbosacral back pain
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Postpartum neuropathy
  • Pubic symphysis separation
  • Rectus diastasis (DRA/DRAM)
  • Transient osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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