RRS Education Research Reviews DATABASE
Back Pain Treatment - Acupressure & Physical Therapy
|Research Review by Dr. Shawn Thistle©|
|Study Title:||Treatment of low back pain using acupressure and physical therapy: randomised controlled trial|
|Authors:||Hsieh L et al.|
|Publication Information:||British Medical Journal 2006; doi: 10.1136/bmj.38744.672616.AE|
|Summary:||Acupressure is a complimentary and alternative therapy that follows the principles of Chinese medicine, and more specifically Chinese acupuncture. The main difference is that acupressure involves manipulating specific points with the fingers rather than using needles like traditional acupuncture.
This small study compared one month of acupressure treatments (n=6) with standard physical therapy (including pelvic manual traction, spinal manipulation, thermotherapy, infrared light therapy, electrical stimulation, and exercise therapy) for patients suffering from chronic mechanical lower back pain for longer than four months. 129 patients (average age ~50) were included in the study, each randomized to undergo 6 acupressure treatments, or 6 physical therapy treatments within one month. Follow-up questionnaires were administered at baseline, after treatment, and 6 months after the treatment period.
The main outcome measures used in this study were Chinese versions of standard outcome measures used in other low back pain studies (primarily the Roland-Morris disability questionnaire).
The results reported in this study include:
|Conclusions & Practical Application:||This study suggests that acupressure may be an effective treatment for low back pain. However, I feel there are some limitations in this project that may limit the applicability of these results: