Background:

A woman's body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, and it adapts by developing compensatory strategies, which can be sources of pain. We sought to analyze the effects of pregnancy and pelvic girdle pain (PGP) on center of pressure (COP) parameters during gait at different speeds.

Methods:

Sixty-one healthy pregnant women, 66 women with PGP between 18 and 27 weeks of pregnancy, and 22 healthy nonpregnant women walked at different velocities (slow, preferential, and fast) on a walkway with built-in pressure sensors. An analysis of variance was performed to determine the effects of gait speed and group on COP parameters.

Results:

In healthy pregnant women and women with PGP, COP parameters were significantly modified compared with those in nonpregnant women (P < .01). Support time was increased regardless of gait speed, and anteroposterior COP displacement was significantly decreased for women with PGP compared with healthy pregnant women. In addition, mediolateral COP displacement was significantly decreased in pregnant women compared with nongravid women.

Conclusions:

Gait speed influenced COP displacement and velocity parameters, and gait velocity potentiated the effect of pregnancy on the different parameters. Pelvic girdle pain had an influence on COP anteroposterior length only. With COP parameters being only slightly modified by PGP, the gait of pregnant women with PGP was similar to that of healthy pregnant women but differed from that of nonpregnant women.

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