Auricular acupuncture as a treatment for pregnant women who have low back and posterior pelvic pain: a pilot study

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Sep;201(3):271.e1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.04.028. Epub 2009 Jun 26.


Objective: The primary aim of this study was to examine whether 1 week of continuous auricular acupuncture could reduce low back and posterior pelvic pain associated with pregnancy.

Study design: A randomized controlled trial was conducted on pregnant women who have lower back and posterior pelvic pain. These women were randomly assigned into an acupuncture group, a sham acupuncture group, or a waiting list control group. All participants were monitored for 2 weeks.

Results: Baseline and day 7 showed significant group differences in pain (F = 15; P < .0001) and in the disability rating index score (F = 7; P < .0001). The participants in the acupuncture group reported a significant reduction of pain and improvement of functional status as compared with those in the sham acupuncture and control groups.

Conclusion: One week of continuous auricular acupuncture decreases the pain and disability experienced by women with pregnancy-related low back and posterior pelvic pain.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture, Ear*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Pain / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*