In this blog I will discuss research on the Stork (Gillet) test in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain. After reading this blog you will know ‘why’ the Stork test is not an appropriate test to evaluate trunk, pelvic and hip movement in pregnant women. You will also learn of some interesting observations regarding movement.
Why did they do this research?
In a previous blog I discussed research on the difference between the ‘gait pattern in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain and asymptomatic pregnant and non-pregnant women’. The results from that study showed that pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain walk slower with a shorter step length and with a significantly longer double limb support. That means that the single leg stance time is shorter. It was hypothesised that this might be due to a change in load transfer in the lumbo-pelvic hip region.
So, although it is known that the Stork test is not a good test to assess the mobility of the sacroiliac joint this might be different in the pregnant population due to anatomical changes?
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy (2nd trimester) on trunk, pelvis and hip movement during the Stork test.
How did they do this research?
I have described the Inclusion criteria for this study in a previous blog.
Stork test: patient lifts one leg up to 900 flexion of the hip at their own speed.
The first 4 tests in which the participant stood on one leg (single leg stance) were analysed. The test side (standing leg) for pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain was the (most) painful side.
For the analysis 25 pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain, 23 asymptomatic pregnant women and 24 healthy controls were evaluated.
What did they find?
- Pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain had 2.1o less hip adductions when compared with asymptomatic pregnant women (significant) (between groups).
- Within every group the differences between women were large.
- The 4 repetitions of the Stork test each woman was asked to perform showed small variation.
What does this mean?
The results show very small and few differences between pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain and asymptomatic pregnant women. Therefor it is unlikely that we can detect this very small difference visibly.
This research also showed that women in all three groups varied greatly in movement pattern. Some women would lift their leg quickly and others more slowly. So if a pregnant woman with pelvic girdle pain lifts her leg slowly this might not be because of her problem but just because that is the way she is used to perform this task pregnant or not. Of course speed of performing the Stork test might influence trunk, pelvic and hip movement.
So, the shorter single leg stance time of pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain reported in the gait analysis cannot be explained with the Stork test (static test).
Christensen L, Vøllestad NK, Veierød MB, Jakobsen VE, Stuge B, Bakke ES, Cabri J, Robinson HS. Trunk, pelvic and hip kinematics during the Stork test in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain, asymptomatic pregnant and non-pregnant women. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2020. Volume 80, December 2020, 105168. (open access)