Acupuncture as an adjunct to standard treatment for pelvic girdle pain in pregnant women: randomised double-blinded controlled trial comparing acupuncture with non-penetrating sham acupuncture
Article first published online: 15 OCT 2008
© 2008 Authors Journal compilation © RCOG 2008 BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 115, Issue 13, pages 1655–1668, December 2008
How to Cite
Elden, H., Fagevik-Olsen, M., Ostgaard, H.-C., Stener-Victorin, E. and Hagberg, H. (2008), Acupuncture as an adjunct to standard treatment for pelvic girdle pain in pregnant women: randomised double-blinded controlled trial comparing acupuncture with non-penetrating sham acupuncture. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 115: 1655–1668. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01904.x
- Issue published online: 13 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 15 OCT 2008
- Accepted 22 July 2008. Published OnlineEarly 15 October 2008.
- non-penetrating sham acupuncture;
- pelvic girdle pain;
Objective To investigate whether acupuncture has a greater treatment effect than non-penetrating sham acupuncture in women with pelvic girdle pain (PGP) during pregnancy.
Design Randomised double-blinded controlled trial.
Setting East Hospital, Gothenburg, and 25 antenatal primary care units in the region of Västra Götaland, Sweden.
Population A total of 115 pregnant women with a clinical diagnosis of PGP who scored ≥50 on a 100-mm visual analogue scale (VAS).
Method Women were randomly allocated to standard treatment plus acupuncture or to standard treatment plus non-penetrating sham acupuncture for 8 weeks.
Main outcome measures Main outcome measure was pain. Secondary outcomes were frequency of sick leave, functional status, discomfort of PGP, health-related quality of life and recovery of severity of PGP as assessed by the independent examiner.
Results After treatment, median pain decreased from 66 to 36 in the acupuncture group and from 69 to 41 in the non-penetrating sham group (P = 0.493) as assessed on a VAS. Women in the acupuncture group were in regular work to a higher extent than women in the sham group (n = 28/57 versus 16/57, P = 0.041). The acupuncture group had superior ability to perform daily activities measured with the disability rating index (DRI) (44 versus 55, P = 0.001). There were no significant differences in quality of life, discomfort of PGP and recovery from severity of PGP between the groups.
Conclusions Acupuncture had no significant effect on pain or on the degree of sick leave compared with non-penetrating sham acupuncture. There was some improvement in performing daily activities according to DRI. The data imply that needle penetration contributes to a limited extent to the previously reported beneficial effects of acupuncture.