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Cutaneous lumbosacral injections of sterile water were more effective than “placebo” injections for relieving first stage labour pain

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 QUESTION: In women who are in the first stage of labour, are cutaneous injections of sterile water effective for relieving low back pain?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (outcome assessors,)* placebo controlled trial with 90 minute follow up after treatment.


A labour ward with approximately 3000 deliveries/year in a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden.


99 pregnant women (mean age 29 y, mean gestation 40 wk) who were admitted to the labour ward, were in the first stage of labour, required pain relief for severe low back pain, and had not received either opioid analgesia in the previous 3 hours or an epidural blockade. 98% and 87% of women were studied at 10 and 45 minutes, respectively, after treatment. …

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  • Source of funding: Bohus County Health Authority.

  • For correspondence: Dr G Wallin, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, S-416 85 Gothenburg, Sweden. Fax +46 31 258374.

  • * See glossary.