Effectiveness of Intradermal Sterile Water Injections in Control of Lower Back Pain in Latent and Active Labor


Poster Presentation


To determine the effectiveness of intradermal sterile water injections for lower back pain in latent and active stage of labor.


Randomized controlled trial approved by the Institutional Review Board.


Labor and Delivery unit with 10 beds in a rural Idaho hospital.


Adult laboring women at or greater than 37 weeks gestation with a low-risk pregnancy admitted to the labor and delivery unit at 3 cm dilation or less.


Participants were assigned to one of two intervention groups: Group A (one set of sterile water injections in latent labor) or Group B (one set of sterile water injections in latent labor and one set of sterile water injections in active labor). The pain relief is evaluated using the Visual Analog Scale before the intervention then at set intervals after the intervention.


To date there are 12 patients enrolled in the study. Of the 12, six complained of back pain and received the injections (Group A: n = 3 and Group B: n = 3). All six patients received the first set of injections at 3 cm dilation or less. None of the patients received the second set of injections at 4 cm or greater because of delivery or receiving an epidural. Thus, there have been no injections administered at 4 cm or greater to evaluate the intervention in active stage labor. Though the preliminary data suggest that the intervention is effective in latent stage labor (3 cm or less), the research team continues to collect data to complete the study objective.

Conclusion/Implications for Nursing Practice

The outcome of this study will help determine if this is an effective means of lower back pain relief that can be administered during latent and active phase labor. The results will help clinicians with the challenge of relieving the back pain a laboring woman may experience.