more effective than Physical Therapy for treating Lower Back Pain
February 17th, 2006
A randomized controlled trial first published on the online in the
British Medical Journal, found that Acupressure of the thumbs and
fingertips seemed to be more beneficial at reducing lower back pain
compared to physical therapy.
Acupressure is a technique that many chiropractors use along with
acupuncture. Acupressure is applying pressure to certain parts of the
body; in this case it was the fingertips and thumbs used for pain
reduction in the lower back. Acupuncture is similar except needles are
used to stimulate the nervous system. In this study the researchers
focused on Acupressure compared to physical therapy.
Many people will have lower back pain at some time in their life, with
some people suffering the pain on a regular basis. The researchers from
Taiwan found 129 patients that suffered chronic lower back pain from an
orthopedic clinic. The patients were divided randomly to two different
groups. The acupressure group consisting of 64 patients received a
total of six sessions. The remaining 65 patients were given physical
therapy instead. The duration of the study was six months.
The acupressure group had a significantly lower mean disability score
after the treatment compared to the physical therapy group. Acupressure
worked so well that there was an 89 percent reduction in the acupressure
groupís disabilities compared to the physical therapy group. The
dramatic improvements in the acupressure group lasted for six months.
The acupressure group improved on other things too, including leg pain,
pain during the work day, and missing work or school because of pain.
It would be interesting if physical therapists will consider adding
acupressure in their treatment for lower back pain in the future. The
results from this study showed that the effects of treatment were
beneficial for improving the quality of life for a person suffering from
chronic lower back pain.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Acupressure at
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