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Pain Med. 2019 Jun 25. pii: pnz138. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnz138. [Epub ahead of print]

Self-Administered Acupressure for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
2
VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, GRECC, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
3
Department of Anesthesiology.
4
Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, Biostatistics Core.
5
Department of Family Medicine.
6
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is associated with fatigue, pain, poor sleep, and disability. Acupressure is a low-risk treatment option used to manage symptoms in other groups, but its efficacy, particularly on fatigue and sleep, is unknown in CLBP. This study examined preliminary effects of two types of self-administered acupressure (relaxing and stimulating) on fatigue, pain, sleep, and reported disability.

METHODS:

A randomized pilot trial was conducted (N = 67) in which participants were randomized into six weeks of relaxing acupressure, stimulating acupressure, or usual care. Fatigue was measured by the Brief Fatigue Inventory, pain was measured by the Brief Pain Inventory, sleep was measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and reported disability was measured by the Roland Morris Scale.

RESULTS:

Baseline characteristics were similar across groups. An intent-to-treat analysis using general linear models showed positive improvement in pain in acupressure groups compared with usual care. Pain was reduced by 35-36% in the acupressure groups. Improvement in fatigue was also found in stimulating acupressure compared with usual care. Adverse events were minimal and related to application of too much pressure.

DISCUSSION:

Although this was a small study, acupressure demonstrated promising preliminary support of efficacy for pain and fatigue reduction in this population.

KEYWORDS:

Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Nonpharmacological

PMID:
31237610
DOI:
10.1093/pm/pnz138

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