Does Reflexology help in alleviating pain in patients with Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP)?

Poster presented at the International Symposium ALGOS 2017, May 25-28, 2017

S. Raptopoulou, E. Stavropoulou, E. Argyra, A. Vadalouca
A’ Anesthesiology Department, Pain and Palliative Care Center, Aretaeion Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Background-Aim: Medical treatment used for patients with chronic low back pain(CLBP) usually cannot completely control the pain and sometimes can cause side effects, and so, they would choose other methods of treatment, including complementary medicine. Reflexology(R) is a complementary therapy without side effects and can improve analgesia by impacting on pain perception. We are presenting our experience on the benefit that reflexology may offer in patients with CLBP.

Methods: This retrospective study was performed in a group of 28 patients, 57-69 years of age, ASA I-II with CLBP who were receiving oral pharmacotherapy for more than 6 week and the mean (SD) score of the severity of the pain (VAS)was 5(0.70). R was conducted as two 45-min sessions per week for four weeks. We recorded the change in pain intensity (VAS), in functionality(ability to self-handling and to go to work) and the satisfaction of the method at the end of the sessions.

Results: The mean (SD) VAS score at the end of the sessions showed a significant decrease to 2.72 (0.89)[p<0.001]. The overall functionality improved >60% in 19(82,6%) patients , 21 (91,3%) took a 100% capacity to self-handling and 14 (61%) returned to work. 19(82,6%)patients were very much, 3(13%) were enough and 1(4%) was little satisfied.

Conclusion: Reflexology could be used as an effective technique to reduce the pain of people with chronic low back pain and to be an extra weapon when other medical therapies work moderately.