Research: ELDEN and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 118

Abstract

ELDEN and colleagues, Perinatal Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Sahlgrenska Academy, East Hospital, 41685 Gothenburg, Sweden, helen.elden@vgregion.se, have conducted a trial of the effects of acupuncture and exercises to treat pelvic girdle pain in pregnant women.

Background

The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of standard treatment, standard treatment plus acupuncture, and standard treatment plus stabilizing exercises for pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy.

Methodology

In this randomized single-blinded design, 386 pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain were randomized to receive either standard treatment (130 women), standard treatment plus acupuncture (125 women), or standard treatment plus stabilizing exercises (131 women) for six weeks. The primary outcome measure was pain.

Results

After treatment the exercise group had significantly less pain than the control group in the morning and in the evening. The acupuncture group, in turn, had significantly less pain in the evening than the exercise group. Furthermore, the acupuncture group had less pain than the control group in the morning and in the evening. Assessment of pain by an external assessor confirmed that the women in the acupuncture group did best.

Conclusion

Acupuncture and stabilizing exercises constitute efficient complements to standard treatment for the management of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture was superior to stabilizing exercises in this study.

References

Elden H, Ladfors L, Olsen MF, Ostgaard HC, Hagberg H. Effects of acupuncture and stabilising exercises as adjunct to standard treatment in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain: randomised single blind controlled trial. British Medical Journal 330 (7494): 761, Apr 2, 2005.

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