Acupuncture Helps Pregnant Women With Low Back Pain
Study finds a week of continuous auricular treatment reduces pain and disability
THURSDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A week of continuous auricular acupuncture can reduce pain and disability in pregnant women with low back and posterior pelvic pain, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Shu-Ming Wang, M.D., of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 152 women at 25 to 38 weeks' gestation who had lower back pain, posterior pelvic pain or both, and were given either acupuncture or sham acupuncture, or put on a waiting list (control group). The subjects were then monitored for two weeks.
Compared with those in the sham acupuncture and control groups, women receiving auricular acupuncture reported the best results, the researchers discovered. At the seven-day mark, about 80 percent of the acupuncture group reported a clinically significant reduction in pain, whereas only 56 percent of the sham acupuncture group and 36 percent of those in the control group did. However, the authors note, for some of the participants, the benefits were not sustained.
"Long-term efficacy of auricular acupuncture as a treatment for pregnancy-related low back and posterior pelvic pain is still inconclusive but clearly shows promise," Wang and colleagues conclude. "A future large-scale randomized control study is indicated to explore the characteristics of acupuncture responders versus non-responders [and] the optimal duration of treatment to achieve the sustained therapeutic effect."