The active straight leg raising test (ASLR) in pregnant women: Differences in muscle activity and force between patients and healthy subjects
Pregnancy-related low back and pelvic pain (PLBP) is a frequent complication of pregnancy. Although pathological mechanisms underlying PLBP are obscure, dysfunction of the sacroiliac joints (SI-joints) seems to play an important role. A cross-sectional study was performed on 24 pregnant women with and without PLBP. The objective was to determine muscle activation patterns of trunk and leg muscles during the active straight leg raising test (ASLR) and static hip flexion, and to determine maximal hip flexion force at 0 and 20 cm leg raise height. Moreover, the effort to raise the leg was scored. The measurements resulted in several significant differences between the patients and healthy controls; among others (a) patients scored subjectively more effort during ASLR, (b) at both 0 and 20 cm leg raise height patients had less hip flexion force, and (c) patients developed more muscle activity during ASLR. Since pregnant women with PLBP developed a higher muscle activity during ASLR with a significantly lower output at 0 and 20 cm than healthy pregnant women, it could be proposed that the ASLR demonstrates a disturbed load transfer across the SI-joints in this population.