Research undertaken at a university hospital in Greifswald, Germany suggests that acupuncture after a caesarean reduces pain and speeds patients’ mobilisation. A total of 120 women scheduled for elective Caesarean delivery, were randomised to either an acupuncture group or a placebo group. As a non-randomised standard care group, a further 60 consecutive patients who received standard postoperative analgesia were selected. The acupuncture group received standard analgesic treatment plus acupuncture. The placebo group also received standard care but only non-penetrating placebo needles.
Mean pain intensity on movement in the acupuncture group on the first postoperative day, was lower than in the other groups. In fact on the first postoperative day, 98% of patients in the acupuncture group were fully mobilised, versus 83% in the placebo group and 58% in the standard care group.
The researchers conclude that the trial showed acupuncture was safe and effective in reducing pain and accelerating mobilization of patients after caesarean delivery. Acupuncture can be recommended as a routine, supplemental therapy for pain control in this patient group.
(Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Pain Control After Caesarean Delivery: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open, 28 February 2022.)