Water injections to relieve back pain

Water injections to relieve back pain

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Water injections for back pain

According to a study led by researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia, sterile water injections provide effective pain relief for women with back pain.

Dr. Nigel Lee from the UQ School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work said in a statement that the injections were previously considered controversial, but this study shows that they are safe and effective.

No "midwife voodoo"

“Some midwives have been using this practice for a few years to relieve pain. So far, however, there has been limited research that suggests that it works, ”said Dr. Lee.

"In fact, many hospitals refused to promote the procedure and viewed it as a" midwife voodoo, "said the expert. "This study provides clear evidence that water injections provide effective pain relief for the majority of women with back pain."

The data for the study, published in the journal The Lancet, was collected between 2012 and 2017 in one British and 15 Australian maternity wards. More than a thousand women with severe back pain received either sterile water injections or a placebo with saline.

Dr. Lee explained that twice as many of the women who received the water injections said that their pain was reduced by at least half for 90 minutes or more. "The impact of the results of our study is huge," said the researcher.

"In contrast to normal contractions, back pain is unpredictable and often continues without interruption between contractions," explained Dr. Lee.

"Most medications for pain in labor are ineffective for back pain," said the scientist. "Water injections have proven to be simple, effective and safe and have no impact on birth results."

Avoid pain relievers during labor

Professor Sue Kildea of ​​Charles Darwin University said the simplicity and safety of the process made it extremely valuable for women around the world.

“Water injections are not only beneficial for women who want to avoid pain relieving medication during labor, but also where women have little or no access to pain relief during childbirth, e.g. For example, at birth at home and in countries with developing health systems, ”says Professor Kildea.

This study was a collaboration between scientists from the University of Queensland, Charles Darwin University, the University of Skövde (Sweden) and the NHS Foundation Trust at Oxford University Hospitals (United Kingdom). (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • University of Queensland: Water injections to relieve back pain in labor no longer ‘midwifery voodoo’, (accessed: July 8, 2020), University of Queensland
  • Nigel Lee, Yu Gao, Sally L. Collins, Lena B. Mårtensson, Wendy Randall, Toni-Marie Rowe, Sue Kildea: Caesarean delivery rates and analgesia effectiveness following injections of sterile water for back pain in labor: A multicentre, randomized placebo controlled trial; in: The Lancet, (published: July 3, 2020), The Lancet

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