A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigating the effectiveness of reflexology for managing pregnancy low back and/or pelvic pain

Ciara Close, Marlene . Sinclair, Julie McCullough, Dianne Liddle, Ciara Hughes

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Abstract

Many pregnant women with low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) use pain medications to manage this pain, much of which is self-prescribed and potentially harmful. Therefore, there is a need to find effective nonpharmacological treatments for the condition. Reflexology has previously been shown to help nonspecific low back pain. Therefore; a pilot RCT was conducted investigating reflexology in the management of pregnancy-LBPP. 90 primiparous women were randomised to either usual care, a reflexology or footbath intervention. Primary outcome measures were; the Pain Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). 64 women completed the RCT; retention rates for the reflexology group were 80%, usual care group 83.33% and footbath group 50%. The reflexology group demonstrated a Clinically Important Change (CIC) in pain frequency (1.64 cm). Results indicate it is feasible to conduct an RCT in this area, although a footbath is an unsuitable sham treatment. Reflexology may help manage pregnancy-LBPP; however a fully powered trial is needed to confirm this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-124
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015

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Pelvic Pain
Massage
Low Back Pain
Randomized Controlled Trials
Pregnancy
Pain
Pain Measurement
Pregnant Women
Placebos
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

Keywords

  • Reflexology
  • low back pain
  • pelvic pain
  • pregnancy
  • randomised controlled trial

Cite this

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title = "A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigating the effectiveness of reflexology for managing pregnancy low back and/or pelvic pain",
abstract = "Many pregnant women with low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) use pain medications to manage this pain, much of which is self-prescribed and potentially harmful. Therefore, there is a need to find effective nonpharmacological treatments for the condition. Reflexology has previously been shown to help nonspecific low back pain. Therefore; a pilot RCT was conducted investigating reflexology in the management of pregnancy-LBPP. 90 primiparous women were randomised to either usual care, a reflexology or footbath intervention. Primary outcome measures were; the Pain Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). 64 women completed the RCT; retention rates for the reflexology group were 80{\%}, usual care group 83.33{\%} and footbath group 50{\%}. The reflexology group demonstrated a Clinically Important Change (CIC) in pain frequency (1.64 cm). Results indicate it is feasible to conduct an RCT in this area, although a footbath is an unsuitable sham treatment. Reflexology may help manage pregnancy-LBPP; however a fully powered trial is needed to confirm this.",
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AU - Sinclair, Marlene .

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AU - Liddle, Dianne

AU - Hughes, Ciara

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N2 - Many pregnant women with low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) use pain medications to manage this pain, much of which is self-prescribed and potentially harmful. Therefore, there is a need to find effective nonpharmacological treatments for the condition. Reflexology has previously been shown to help nonspecific low back pain. Therefore; a pilot RCT was conducted investigating reflexology in the management of pregnancy-LBPP. 90 primiparous women were randomised to either usual care, a reflexology or footbath intervention. Primary outcome measures were; the Pain Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). 64 women completed the RCT; retention rates for the reflexology group were 80%, usual care group 83.33% and footbath group 50%. The reflexology group demonstrated a Clinically Important Change (CIC) in pain frequency (1.64 cm). Results indicate it is feasible to conduct an RCT in this area, although a footbath is an unsuitable sham treatment. Reflexology may help manage pregnancy-LBPP; however a fully powered trial is needed to confirm this.

AB - Many pregnant women with low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) use pain medications to manage this pain, much of which is self-prescribed and potentially harmful. Therefore, there is a need to find effective nonpharmacological treatments for the condition. Reflexology has previously been shown to help nonspecific low back pain. Therefore; a pilot RCT was conducted investigating reflexology in the management of pregnancy-LBPP. 90 primiparous women were randomised to either usual care, a reflexology or footbath intervention. Primary outcome measures were; the Pain Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). 64 women completed the RCT; retention rates for the reflexology group were 80%, usual care group 83.33% and footbath group 50%. The reflexology group demonstrated a Clinically Important Change (CIC) in pain frequency (1.64 cm). Results indicate it is feasible to conduct an RCT in this area, although a footbath is an unsuitable sham treatment. Reflexology may help manage pregnancy-LBPP; however a fully powered trial is needed to confirm this.

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