A healthy pregnancy is a big enough challenge for most women. And the reality is that many pregnancies are plagued by some degree of pain and discomfort. This unfortunate fact is complicated by a reluctance on the part of physicians and patients to use drugs in order to address these common symptoms – and rightly so. Many drugs are simply not suitable for growing fetuses. Fortunately there are some time honored techniques that can provide safer alternatives to medications during pregnancy.
Promise for Pelvic Pain
One of the most common problems during pregnancy is pelvic pain. It is characterized by a mandrel in the front side of the pelvis, and in the area of the buttocks. It can also radiate to the back of the leg and a sharp stabbing effect to a feeling of dull pain vary. Pelvic pain, also known as PGP, affects approximately 20% of pregnant women. And, it is one of the most common causes of absenteeism in the workplace.
A recent study in Sweden was conducted to determine whether acupuncture could be a feasible way to manage PGP during pregnancy. To do this, Dr. Helen Elden from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, recruited 115 pregnant women who suffer from this common pelvic symptoms.
The group was split into two. A half given a specific acupuncture treatment. The other half was subjected to a “sham acupuncture” treatment. The sham acupuncture only provided the illusion of needles penetrating the skin. To Dr. Elden to quote, “Both the real and the fake needles are supplied by means of a handle, but the sham needle does not penetrate the skin, instead collapsed into the handle and creates the illusion of insertion.”
It is important to note that all pregnant women were also given general advice about how to deal with so much pain and an exercise routine that would help them manage the discomfort.
The results of the investigation were as follows: Both groups reported significant pain relief. In other words, both the acupuncture and “sham acupuncture” helped relieve the symptoms pelvis.
But that’s not the end of the story. The researchers also found that the real acupuncture group managed to better meet their daily activities and their responsibilities at work – compared with the sham acupuncture group.
This study was published in The International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The editor of that journal, Dr. Philip Steer, offered this analysis of the study: “For some women the hope of pain relief is enough reason for them to alternative treatments. The results of this study are encouraging because it shows that acupuncture might can improve the lives of women with PGP. However, women consult their doctors and midwives and not abandon traditional medicine. ”
This is a good example of “integrative medicine”. The fusion of the best of alternative and mainstream medicine. And that is a form of compromise with which I wholeheartedly agree.
Referred to Material
Link – Study Abstract: Acupuncture and pelvic pain
Link – Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Press Release
Link – Article: Acupuncture and pregnancy