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Acupuncture 'eases' pregnancy pain

New research has shown that the complementary therapy of acupuncture may help women who suffer from pelvic girdle pain (PGP) during pregnancy.
New research has shown that the complementary therapy of acupuncture may help women who suffer from pelvic girdle pain (PGP) during pregnancy.

Around one in five pregnant women (20 per cent) report experiencing PGP, which affects the anterior pelvis and can be made worse by standing, sitting or turning in bed.

In some seven per cent of women, the condition even continues after giving birth, but the new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology may shed light on methods of pain relief.

Researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden tested the effects of acupuncture on 58 pregnant women suffering from PGP over the course of two months.

Although most of the women did not actually experience less pain with acupuncture, they did find it easier to carry out everyday tasks, like climbing a flight of stairs.

The researchers said that the results are promising, but further study is needed.

Professor Philip Steer, BJOG editor-in-chief, said: "The results of this study are encouraging as it shows that acupuncture could improve the lives of women with PGP.

"For some women the hope of pain relief is enough reason for them to undergo alternative treatments. However, women should consult their doctors and midwives and not abandon traditional medicine."

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