Effects of Acupuncture on Post-cesarean Section Pain
Chinese Medical Journal; Volume 122, Issue 15, pages 1743-1748.
BACKGROUND: Post-operation pain is a very subjective phenomenon. The aim of this study was to find out the effects of acupuncture or electro-acupuncture on post-cesarean surgical pain.
METHODS: Sixty women, who had had spinal anesthesia during cesarean section at the Department of Obstetrics of China Medical University Hospital, were randomly assigned to the control group, the acupuncture group, and the electro-acupuncture group. After the operation, we applied subjects with acupuncture or electro-acupuncture on the bilateral acupuncture point, San Yin Jiao (Sp6), and the patient controlled analgesia (PCA). The first time of requesting morphine, the frequency of PCA demands in 24 hours, and the doses of PCA used were recorded double blindly. In addition, monitoring the subjects' vital signs, the opioid-related side effects, and the pain scores was done.
RESULTS: The results showed that the acupuncture group and the electro-acupuncture group could delay the time of requesting morphine up to 10 - 11 minutes when compared with the control group. The total dose of PCA used within the first 24 hours was 30% - 35% less in the acupuncture group and the electro-acupuncture group when compared with the control group, which was indicated in statistical significance. However, there was no significant difference between the acupuncture group and the electro-acupuncture group. The electro-acupuncture group's and the acupuncture group's pain scores were lower than the control group's within the first 2 hours. Both were statistically significant. However, two hours later, there were no significant differences of the visual analogue scale (VAS) scores between either of the treatment groups and the control group. Finally, the incidence of opioid-related side effects, such as dizziness, was less in the acupuncture group and electro-acupuncture group than in the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that the application of acupuncture and electro-acupuncture could definitely delay the time of requesting pain relief medication after cesarean section and decrease the PCA doses used within the first 24 hours.