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Acupuncture compares favourably to bed rest for the relief of postpartum sciatica, conclude the authors of a study carried out in China. One hundred and eleven women with postpartum sciatica were enrolled in an acupuncture group or a control group, according to preference. Participants in the acupuncture group received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks, while participants in the control group were assigned to bed rest. Primary acupoints used included Jingmen GB-25, Huantiao GB-30, Fengshi GB-31, Shenyu BL-23, Chengfu BL-36, and Qihai REN-6. Supplementary acupoints including Sanyinjiao SP-6 and Zusanli ST-36 were added based on TCM pattern diagnosis. Outcome scores for disability and leg pain were found to be significantly lower in the acupuncture group compared with the control group. All 86 women in the treatment group reported that acupuncture improved their well-being. At one month after treatment, 98% of participants in the treatment group reported recovery, compared with 24% of control group participants. No adverse effects of acupuncture were reported. All participants in the acupuncture group stated they would choose acupuncture in case of relapse. The recurrence rate of sciatica in the acupuncture group (32%) was comparable to that of the control group (35%) at one-year follow-up.

Preliminary Clinical Evaluation of Acupuncture Therapy in Patients With Postpartum Sciatica. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2018 Mar;63(2):214-220.


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