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.
- low back pain
- pelvic pain
- randomised controlled trial
Close, C., Sinclair, M. ., McCullough, J., Liddle, D., & Hughes, C. (2015). A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigating the effectiveness of reflexology for managing pregnancy low back and/or pelvic pain. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 23, 117-124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.05.002