Yale researcher studying acupuncture
- Yale researcher studying acupuncture to reduce back pain in pregnancy
02 Feb 2005
A Yale researcher and expert in the practice of acupuncture is
conducting a three-year study on the effectiveness of this ancient
Chinese practice in reducing low back pain during pregnancy.
The study is funded with a $400,000 grant from the National Institutes
of Health and will include 150 women who are at least 24 weeks
pregnant. The lead researcher, Shu-Ming Wang, M.D., associate
professor of anesthesiology at Yale School of Medicine, was approached
by a colleague three years ago who was suffering from severe low back
pain and sciatica in the final months of her pregnancy.
"She asked if I could do anything to help," said Wang, who inserted
three, two-millimeter needles into her colleague's ear. "She recovered
immediately." A subsequent survey of more than 1,000 pregnant women in
New Haven County showed that 65 percent suffered from low back pain
and sciatica. The survey was conducted by Yale-New Haven Hospital in
conjunction with Wang, who is an attending anesthesiologist at the
Acupuncture involves stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a
variety of techniques, including penetrating the skin with thin,
solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by
ation. In this study each of two groups of women will receive slightly
varying acupuncture treatment. The remaining group will receive no
treatment and serve as a basis of comparison. Wang said those women
who do not receive treatment and those who do not improve with
assigned group interventions will be invited to return for additional
treatment at no cost after the study is completed.
The treatment consists of three tiny needles inserted on one side of
the ear. The women will be asked to remove the needles after one week
and the results will be measured two weeks after the treatment was
initiated. "They can sleep, and shower, and forget about the needles,
other than when they answer the telephone," Wang said.
Co-investigators include Michael Berman, M.D., James Yue, M.D., Ferne
Braveman, M.D., Zeev Kain, M.D., and Haiqun Lin, M.D.
Persons interested in participating in the study should call Wang's
office at 203-737-1149 and leave their name and contact information.
Jacqueline Weaver - jacqueline.weaver@...