Complementary and alternative medicine for low-back pain in pregnancy: a cross-sectional survey

J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Jun;11(3):459-64. doi: 10.1089/acm.2005.11.459.


Objective: To identify common treatments used for low-back pain (LBP) during pregnancy.

Design: A two-part anonymous survey.

Setting/location: New Haven, Connecticut.

Subjects: Pregnant women and providers of prenatal health care (nurse educators, nurse midwives, and obstetricians).

Results: We found that the majority of pregnant women who participated in our survey (61.7%) reported that they would accept complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy as treatment for LBP during pregnancy. Similarly, 61% of providers of prenatal health care in our sample reported that they would consider using CAM as treatment for LBP during pregnancy. Massage (61.4%), acupuncture (44.6%), relaxation (42.6%), yoga (40.6%), and chiropractic (36.6%) were the most common CAM therapies recommended for LBP in pregnancy by the providers of prenatal health care in our sample.

Conclusions: This two-part survey study found that both providers of prenatal health care and pregnant women in New Haven county are likely to use CAM treatments for pregnancy-induced LBP. Further investigation should focus on whether it is a nationwide phenomenon, as well as if various CAM therapies are an efficacious treatment for LBP during pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods
  • Adult
  • Chiropractic
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Connecticut
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Low Back Pain / prevention & control
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Massage / methods
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Maternal Welfare*
  • Pain Measurement / standards
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Relaxation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Yoga