Pregnancy related hip and low back pain commonly occur near the end of the second trimester into the third trimester. Acupuncture is a safe and effective natural treatment for all types of pain.
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Pelvic Pain Relief for Pregnant Women
British Medical Journal, published online March 17, 2005
A new study shows acupuncture and strengthening exercises may help relieve pelvic girdle pain experienced by pregnant women. The pelvic girdle is a complex of bones that connects the trunk and legs. Pain in the pelvic girdle is very common among pregnant women. The study authors explain this pain inhibits the ability to stand, walk and sit, but there is no cure. Standard treatment consists of a pelvic belt and a home exercise regimen. However, the effectiveness of these options is questionable. So, researchers in Sweden set out to investigate whether acupuncture or strengthening exercises could help manage the pain.
They divided 386 women into three groups. One received standard treatment, another received standard treatment plus acupuncture, and the third underwent standard treatment plus stabilizing exercise that improved mobility and strength. These women recorded their pain levels every morning and evening and were examined at the end of the treatment period.
Both the acupuncture group and the stabilizing-exercise group had less pain than the standard treatment group in the morning and evening. The acupuncture group showed the greatest reduction of pelvic girdle pain. The study authors conclude acupuncture or these specific exercises prove beneficial in addition to standard treatment for pelvic girdle pain.
Acupuncture for low back pain in pregnancy–a prospective, quasi-randomised, controlled study.
Acupunct Med. 2004 Jun;22(2):60-7., Guerreiro da Silva JB, Nakamura MU, Cordeiro JA, Kulay L Jr.
This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of acupuncture in low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy under real life conditions, as compared with patients undergoing conventional treatment alone. A total of 61 conventionally treated pregnant women were allocated randomly into two groups to be treated or not by acupuncture. Twenty-seven patients formed the study group and 34 the control group. They reported the severity of pain using a Numerical Rating Scale from 0 to 10, and their capacity to perform general activities, to work, and to walk. We also assessed the use of analgesic drugs. Women were followed up for eight weeks and interviewed five times, at two-week intervals. All women completed the study. In the study group the average pain during the study period showed a larger reduction (4.8 points) than the control group (-0.3 points) (P < 0.0001). Average pain scores decreased by at least 50% over time in 21 (78%) patients in the acupuncture group and in five (15%) patients in the control group (P < 0.0001). Maximum pain and pain at the moment of interview were also less in the acupuncture group compared with the control group. The capacity to perform general activities, to work and to walk was improved significantly more in the study group than in the control group (P < 0.05). The use of paracetamol was lower in the acupuncture group (P < 0.01). These results indicate that acupuncture seems to alleviate low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy, as well as to increase the capacity for some physical activities and to diminish the need for drugs, which is a great advantage during this period.
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