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J Midwifery Womens Health. 2018 Mar;63(2):214-220. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12681. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

Preliminary Clinical Evaluation of Acupuncture Therapy in Patients With Postpartum Sciatica.



This study evaluated clinical outcomes following acupuncture treatment of postpartum sciatica.


One hundred eleven women with postpartum sciatica were enrolled in an acupuncture group (n = 86) or a control group (n = 25), according to their preference. Participants in the acupuncture group attended acupuncture therapy sessions 3 times a week for 4 weeks, while participants in the control group were assigned to bed rest. Outcome measures included the Roland Disability Questionnaire for sciatica, a visual analog scale for leg pain, and patient-reported perceived recovery. In addition, participants were surveyed after treatment to assess the acceptability of acupuncture therapy.


The outcome scores for disability and leg pain were significantly lower in the acupuncture group compared with the control group (P < .05). All 86 women in the treatment group stated that acupuncture improved their well-being after treatment. At one month after treatment, 98% of participants in the treatment group reported recovery compared with 24% of the control group participants (P < .001). After treatment, 95% of lactating women in the acupuncture group believed that acupuncture had no significant interference with breast milk production. No adverse effects of acupuncture were reported. All participants in the acupuncture group stated they would choose acupuncture in case of relapse. However, the recurrence rate of sciatica in the acupuncture group (32%) was comparable to that of the control group (35%) at the one-year follow-up interview.


Compared with bed rest, acupuncture might be an effective and acceptable strategy to relieve symptoms of postpartum sciatica.


acupuncture; postpartum; sciatica

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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