Hsieh LL, Kuo CH, Lee LH, Yen AM, Chien KL, Chen TH. BMJ. 2006 Mar 25;332(7543):696-700. Epub 2006 Feb 17 Institute of Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

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OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the effectiveness of acupressure in terms of disability, pain scores, and functional status. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial.

 

SETTING

Orthopaedic clinic in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

 

PARTICIPANTS

129 patients with chronic low back pain.

 

INTERVENTION

Acupressure or physical therapy for one month.

 

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Self administered Chinese versions of standard outcome measures for low back pain (primary outcome: Roland and Morris disability questionnaire) at baseline, after treatment, and at six month follow-up.

 

RESULTS

The mean total Roland and Morris disability questionnaire score after treatment was significantly lower in the acupressure group than in the physical therapy group regardless of the difference in absolute score (- 3.8, 95% confidence interval – 5.7 to – 1.9) or mean change from the baseline (- 4.64, – 6.39 to – 2.89). Acupressure conferred an 89% (95% confidence interval 61% to 97%) reduction in significant disability compared with physical therapy. The improvement in disability score in the acupressure group compared with the physical group remained at six month follow-up. Statistically significant differences also occurred between the two groups for all six domains of the core outcome, pain visual scale, and modified Oswestry disability questionnaire after treatment and at six month follow-up.

 

 CONCLUSIONS

Acupressure was effective in reducing low back pain in terms of disability, pain scores, and functional status. The benefit was sustained for six months.