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Lee's project looks into antenatal pelvic girdle pain.

Managing antenatal pelvic girdle pain

Plymouth University

DM Orthotics Ltd is working with Plymouth University PhD researcher Lee Cameron to investigate how pelvic girdle pain (PGP) in pregnancy can be reduced through the use of pelvic support orthoses.

PGP occurs in seventy per cent of women during pregnancy. Orthoses such as rigid pelvic belts are commonly prescribed. More recently dynamic elastomeric fabric orthoses (DEFO) have been developed to address this problem. No studies yet have evaluated the comparative effectiveness of these two interventions.

DM Orthotics have developed a DEFO for PGP management in athletes with evidence of the effectiveness of these orthoses in reducing pain. It also has two positive case reports in pregnant women with PGP using this DEFO.

During weekly clinics at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Lee is carrying out a trial to investigate the comparative effectiveness of a rigid pelvic girdle belt (the standard NHS intervention) with DM Orthotics DEFO. Evaluating how effective these two garments are with regard to improving pelvic girdle pain, function and quality of life through self-report postal questionnaires.

It is hoped that the study will enable DM Orthotics to produce a scientifically and clinically evidence based product, potentially increasing sales, market presence and employment.

It will also help to raise the research profile of Royal Cornwall Hospital, leading to further collaborations, and could potentially benefit the local Cornish pregnant population by reducing pain during pregnancy.