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Acupuncture for Back Pain Relief in Pregnancy

Most pregnant women experience back pain at some stage of their pregnancy.  As the pregnancy progresses, a woman's frame has the increased weight and size of the baby to support.  Often, a pregnant woman may experience pain and tension in the thoracic, lumbar, sacral and pelvic areas.  Sometimes, symptoms of sciatica may be present.

Acupuncture is well known for treating painful musculoskeletal conditions well.  In pregnancy, this is no different.  Although, depending on the stage of pregnancy the acupuncture treatment points may vary to ensure the safety of the pregnancy.  It is important to choose an acupuncturist with experience in treating pregnant women to ensure a safe, effective treatment and relief from your back pain.

We have seen pregnancy-related back pain (whether thoracic, lumbar, sacral or pelvic) respond well to acupuncture treatment.  The acupuncture in some cases may resolve the problem, and in others, keep the pain to manageable levels. 

A study of 386 pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain was reported in the British Medical Journal.  The participants were divided into three groups:

  1. standard treatment only
  2. acupuncture only
  3. standard treatment plus acupuncture or physiotherapy exercises

Acupuncture was given twice weekly.  The acupuncture group results were superior to the stabilising exercise group.   Eldon H et al (2005) "Effects of acupuncture and stabilising exercises as adjunct to standard treatment in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain: a randomised single blind controlled trial".  British Medical Journal;330(7494):761


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