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Acupuncture May Cut Pregnancy Pelvic Pain

Stabilizing Exercises Also Helped -- but Not as Much

Swedish Study Shows Acupuncture Helps

The pelvic girdle pain study included 386 pregnant women. All were 12-31 weeks into their pregnancy.

Every woman got standard care -- education about activity, rest, and the back and pelvis. They also got a pelvic belt for support and a home exercise program to strengthen their stomach and gluteal muscles.

Another group of women also got two acupuncture sessions per week for six weeks. The women's and babies' heart rates were monitored before and after all treatments.

A third group got standard care plus specific exercises to stabilize their back and pelvis. The women were instructed to do the exercises throughout the day at home and with a trainer for six weeks.

The acupuncture group got the most relief from pelvic girdle pain, followed by the stabilization exercise group. Those who just got standard care didn't have any improvement. The findings were based on patients' pain reports recorded every morning and evening, along with an examiner's evaluation.

No one had any serious side effects during the treatments or follow-up a week later. The study by Swedish midwife Helen Elden and colleagues appears on BMJ Online First.

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