Research: YIP and TSE,

Listed in Issue 105

Abstract

YIP and TSE, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, PR China, hsvyip@inet.polyu.edu.hk, report on a randomized controlled trial of relaxation acupoint stimulation and acupressure with lavender essential oil for non-specific low back pain.

Background

The study aimed to assess the effect of electrical acupoint stimulation combined with acupressure using lavender essential oil as an add-on treatment in patients with sub-acute or chronic non-specific low back pain.

Methodology

In this randomized controlled trial, patients received either 8 sessions of relaxation acupoint stimulation followed by acupressure with lavender oil over a 3-week period, or standard care. Before and after treatment, pain intensity and duration, lateral fingertip-to-ground distance, walking time, and interference with daily activities were assessed.

Results

One week after the end of treatment, the intervention group had a 39% greater reduction in pain intensity than the control group (p = 0.0001), improved walking time (p = 0.05) and greater lateral spine flexion range (p = 0.01).

Conclusion

8 sessions of acupoint stimulation followed by acupressure with lavender oil is an effective method for short-term low back pain relief. No adverse effects were reported. This therapy may be a good choice of add-on therapy for chronic non-specific low back pain.

References

Yip YB, Tse SHM. The effectiveness or relaxation acupoint stimulation and acupressure with aromatic essential lavender oil for non-specific low back pain in Hong Kong: a randomised controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 12 (1): 28-37, Mar 2004.

Comment

The above clinical results (less pain intensity, improved walking time and greater spinal flexibility) using acupoint stimulation and acupressure with lavender essential oil are encouraging and ought to become part of clinical practice for patients with non-specific low back pain.

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