Acupuncture/ pressurePainPregnancy

Acupuncture for pelvic and back pain in pregnancy

Researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia review the results of 3 studies.

First, the details.

  • 2 small studies of mixed pelvic/back pain and 1 large high-quality study on pelvic pain were reviewed.
  • In each study, treatment options included usual care (A) plus the acupuncture treatment (B) or usual care (A) alone — A + B vs A.

And, the results.

  • Acupuncture in addition to standard treatment was superior to standard treatment alone and physiotherapy in relieving mixed pelvic/back pain.
  • Women with well-defined pelvic pain had greater relief of pain with a combination of acupuncture and standard treatment, compared to standard treatment alone or stabilizing exercises and standard treatment.
  • Few and minor adverse events were reported.

The bottom line?
The authors conclude, “Limited evidence supports acupuncture use in treating pregnancy-related pelvic and back pain.”

But the results are clouded by the study design (A + B vs A), which may predispose to erroneous positive findings with acupuncture. More on this is here.

8/25/08 20:59 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.