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One in three women suffer potentially severe and disabling pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Now a Swedish study has demonstrated that acupuncture is more effective than either standard or specialised exercises in relieving the pain. 386 pregnant women were assigned to a six-week treatment programme involving either standard home exercise, standard exercise plus acupuncture or specialised exercises designed to improve mobility and strength. Pain levels were assessed morning and evening. The women receiving the acupuncture showed the greatest relief in pain, which, achieved without the use of medication, is of particular benefit to pregnant women. Acupuncture treatment focused on the following points: Baihui DU-20, Hegu L.I.-4, Guanyuanshu BL-26, Ciliao BL-32 Zhongliao BL-33, Zhibian BL-54 Henggu KID-11,Kunlun BL-60, Huantiao GB-30, Chongmen SP-12 and Zusanli ST-36. Deqi was obtained and the needles were retained for 30 minutes, with manipulation every 10 minutes. Treatment was given twice weekly for the six-week study period. The authors of the study say: “We conclude that acupuncture as well as stabilising exercises constitute effective complements to standard treatment for pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain. Acupuncture was superior to stabilising exercises in this study. The findings are of particular importance because no previous study has shown such marked treatment effects among pregnant women with well defined pelvic girdle pain”. (BMJ 2005;330:761 (2 April), doi:10.1136/bmj.38397.507014.E0).