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Anyone heard of sterile water injections

(5 Posts)
Pippaandpolly Sun 11-Sep-11 09:31:42

Read in a book (American) that having 4 small injections of sterile water in specific points on your back can help back pain in labour a lot. Have googled and found an Australian site that talks about it as quite normal and very effective and an English site that says it must be rot and a placebo effect. Can't find anything else, none of my other books mention it and my NCT teacher had never heard of it. Will ask midwife when I see her on Friday but in the meantime does anyone know anything about this as a method of pain relief/tried it/know where I can read more about it? Thanks smile

jenniec79 Sun 11-Sep-11 10:09:54

Sterile water (well saline) is used to flush through the tubing for your epidural and to test they're putting the injection in the right place before the good stuff.

Its also used for flushing drugs through venflons (the drip needle in your hand/arm)

If you use water rather than saline it stings a lot. Other than distraction, thins sounds like a placebo effect. I do wonder if it has its basis in acupucture or similar though if specific points?

katiegirl Sun 11-Sep-11 12:41:05

Yes! I'm a midwife and we use these where I work. Also called water blisters (because the water is injected just under the skin it comes up in a little blister), or in research papers normally something along the lines of intradermal water block. They're very effective for relieving back pain, its not really known how they work but thought to be similar to a TENs machine in that they stimulate different nerve fibres to pain and block the pain messages getting through.

I don't think I've ever seen them not work, and they work almost instantly. They sting like hell when given though! And of course only work on back pain, they don't take away abdominal pain so I think most of the research (of which there isn't a massive amount, from what I recall most of it is based in Sweden) around them shows that they don't affect the uptake of other pharmacological pain relief but women say they would use them again.

Before I started working at this hospital I'd only briefly read about them when I was a student, I don't think they're very widely used at all.

Pippaandpolly Sun 11-Sep-11 14:48:32

Hmm, that's really interesting...I wonder why they're not more widely used if they're so effective? Are they quite a new idea? I am keen to go as natural as possible but injections of water with no side effects I'd be quite happy with!

BedHog Sun 11-Sep-11 15:00:05

Can you use a tens machine at the same time, or are the injections given at the same places as the tens pads are located?

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