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Keywords:

  • muscle relaxation;
  • pain management;
  • patient education;
  • pregnancy;
  • preventive health care;
  • quality of life

Introduction

Back pain is commonly experienced by pregnant women. Evidence suggests that progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) therapy, a complementary therapy widely used by pregnant women, may improve the physical and psychological outcomes of pregnancy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of PMR training accompanied by music on perceived pain and quality of life (QOL) in pregnant women with low back pain (LBP).

Methods

This was a prospective randomized controlled trial. The study was designed to examine the effects of PMR accompanied by music on pregnant women with LBP. In total, 66 pregnant women were assigned randomly to a PMR group or a control group (33 women in each). A personal information form was used as a data collection tool; a visual analog scale was used for measuring pain; and the Short Form-36 was used to evaluate QOL.

Results

The control and intervention groups were comparable at baseline. Significant differences were observed between the 2 groups after 4 and 8 weeks of intervention. The intervention group showed significant improvement in all QOL subscales after the intervention. The intervention group, but not the control group, showed significant improvement in perceived pain after the intervention. The intervention group experienced a greater decrease in perceived pain and improved QOL than the control group.

Discussion

Our findings show that PMR accompanied by music may be an effective therapy for improving pain and QOL in pregnant women with LBP. Large randomized studies are recommended to confirm these results.