Lower back and pelvic pain is common during pregnancy and can set the stage for chronic pain later in life. A simple technique - pressure needles held in place by tape at acupuncture points in their ears - worked to control back pain in women during a two week study in Connecticut. After the first week, 37 percent of women who received the treatment were pain free. Among all the women who received the acupuncture treatment, 81 percent reported a 30 percent or greater lessening of pain. In a control group that received sham acupuncture (needles that weren't placed at acupuncture points), only 59 percent reported a reduction in pain of 30 percent or more. While just 47 percent of women in another control group (no needles) reported a 30 percent reduction in pain. A total of 159 women in the 25th to 38th week of pregnancy participated in the study. A week after the study ended, 68 percent of the women who received the real acupuncture still reported a 30 percent or more reduction in pain. In the sham acupuncture group only 32 percent reported this level of lessened pain a week later as did only 18 percent of the control group. The study was published in the September 2009 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.