(NaturalNews) The September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology contains a report that illustrates the effectiveness of ear acupuncture in alleviating lower back and pelvic pain in pregnant women. The study revealed that among 159 women who were given the acupuncture treatment, all reported reduction in overall pain and functional improvement in mobility.
The unique circulatory network that exists between the mother and her developing child is delicate, leading many prenatal health providers to shy away from prescribing any pharmacological methods of intervention to alleviate the lower back pain associated with pregnancy. Since drugs carry heavy side effects for both mother and child, researchers have continued to investigate safer, simpler, more natural methods of mitigation.
Dr. Shu-Ming Wang of the Yale School of medicine suggests that simple, inexpensive acupuncture treatments offer a drug-free method of easing common back and pelvic pain in pregnant women and may help stave off perpetual chronic back pain throughout their lives.
Three groups of women were included in the study; one group receiving real acupuncture, the second group receiving acupuncture in "sham" points, and the third group receiving nothing but self-care. Eighty-one percent of the women in the legitimate acupuncture group experienced a 30 percent or greater reduction in pain while only 59 percent in the phony acupuncture group experienced such results. Of the group receiving no treatment, 47 percent indicated reduction in pain.
After only one week, 37 percent of the women receiving genuine acupuncture treatment were pain free compared to 22 percent in the fake group and only 9 percent in the self-care control group. Those who received veritable acupuncture treatment also experienced a significant improvement in mobility and function compared to the other two groups.
Though not all women remained free of pain in the weeks following the study, researchers indicate that longer-term treatments may produce more sustained relief. Further study is also needed to verify characteristically why some women respond more favorably than others to acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture continues to make inroads into mainstream medicine due to its veritable effects on reducing pain. Studies conducted on a wide cross-section of pain conditions have seen favorable results, leading the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to support acupuncture as a viable treatment option.
From fibromyalgia and chronic headaches to cramps and arthritis, alternative and complementary doctors are witnessing excellent results in prescribing this inexpensive treatment option for their patients' ailments rather than pharmaceutical drugs.