Patient information

Conditions we treat

Fee and rebate
Conditions    Pregnancy related conditions    Back pain during pregnancy

Back pain during pregnancy

Overview
It is very common to get backache or back pain during pregnancy, especially in the early stages. During pregnancy, the ligaments in your body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare you for labour. This can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.


Treatment options
Stretching and exercise are effective in minor cases. The choices of medications are quite limited due to safety concerns and associated side-effects such as constipation.


Acupuncture in pregnancy
Acupuncture is a well-established method to relieve musculoskeletal pain. It is widely used in pregnancy for various conditions, including morning sickness and breech position foetus.


Treatment objects
The aim is to be pain-free in most of the cases and only requires occasional paracetamol with flare-ups. The pain normally improves after 1st treatment. Patients with pre-existing chronic back pain or sciatica may also have significant relief.


Treatment protocol
In patients with isolated pregnancy-related back pain, 4 treatments over 2-3 weeks are recommended. Further tune-ups may be required later in the pregnancy.


Safety
Acupuncture is a well-tolerated safe treatment. Patients experience pain less than intramuscular injection and blood tests. Patients may experience acupuncture-specific sensation, De Qi, which might feel like vague tingling and lasts seconds.


The treatment principles for headaches in pregnancy are “minimal stimulation” and “maximum certainty”. To achieve both, only 5 to 9 points will be used for the treatment, patients will be asked to provide feedback frequently during the treatment, and laser is NOT used due to the absence of immediate feedback.


Bleeding and bruising rarely happen. Temporary nerve irritation or damage is a theoretical risk, which hasn’t been encountered in this treatment.


Fee
1st & 2nd treatment - $300
3rd treatment and thereafter - $250


Medicare rebate - $107.25


Patients are encouraged to contact Medicare for the Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN). 80% rebate of the out-of-pocket fee may be claimed when the threshold is reached.

http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-EMSN1Jan2020