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Table 1 Acupuncture points and depth of needling in the true acupuncture arm

From: Evaluating acupuncture and standard care for pregnant women with back pain: the EASE Back pilot randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN49955124)

Point Description Depth of insertion/needle
Local points
 BL23 1.5 cun lateral to the spinous process of L2 30–40 mm/50 mm
 BL24 1.5 cun lateral to the spinous process of L3 30–40 mm/50 mm
 BL25 1.5 cun lateral to the spinous process of L4 30–40 mm/50 mm
 BL26 1.5 cun lateral to the spinous process of L5 30–40 mm/50 mm
 BL27 1.5 cun lateral to the spinous process of S1 30–40 mm/50 mm
 BL28 1.5 cun lateral to the spinous process of S2 20–30 mm/40 mm
 BL54 3 cun lateral to the spinous process of S4 50–70 mm/75 mm
 BL31 Over the first sacral foramen 20–30 mm/40 mm
 BL32 Over the second sacral foramen 20–30 mm/40 mm
 BL33 Over the third sacral foramen 20–30 mm/40 mm
 GB30 Over the piriformis muscle, at junction of lateral 1/3 and medial 2/3 of line joining sacral hiatus and greater trochanter of the femur 50–70 mm/75 mm
 HJJ L4 One fingerbreadth lateral to the spinous process of L4 30–40 mm/50 mm
 HJJL5 One fingerbreadth lateral to the spinous process of L5 30–40 mm/50 mm
All of the above points can be needled bilaterally. Tender points over the gluteus minimus and the pelvic rim can also be included.
Distal points
 GB34 One fingerbreadth anterior and one inferior to the fibular head 25–30 mm/40 mm
 ST36 3 cun below the joint line of the knee and a fingerbreadth lateral to the tibial crest 25–30 mm/40 mm
 LR3 Just distal to the junction of the bases of the first and second metatarsal bones 25–30 mm/40 mm
 LI4 On the highest point of the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the hand 20–30 mm/40 mm–30 mm
 BL60 Midway between the lateral malleolus and the Achilles tendon 15–25 mm/30 mm
 BL62 1 cun below the tip of the lateral malleolus 10–20 mm/30 mm
One or two of the above points are to be included in the treatment. Not necessary to needle bilaterally, unless the clinician judges it to be needed.
  1. The acupuncture protocol was informed by acupuncture texts, a national survey of acupuncture practice (Bishop et al. 2015) and previous studies (Elden et al. 2008 [18])