Effects of low back massage on perceived birth pain and satisfaction

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2017 Aug;28:169-175. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2017.05.016. Epub 2017 Jun 1.


Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of low back massage on perceived birth pain and delivery.

Method: This study was designed as a study-control experimental type. The study sample consisted of 62 pregnant women (massage group = 31, control group = 31). Massage was applied to the study group in three phases during intrapartum period. The massages were done at the end of latent, active and transition phases (at cervical dilatation 3-4 cm, 5-7 cm, 8-10 cm) correspondingly. The VAS scores were evaluated three times during all phases.

Results: The first mean VAS score was 5.2 ± 0.9 and 7.3 ± 1.3 for massage and control groups, respectively. Second VAS score was found as 6.6 ± 1.6 in massage group and 8.8 ± 1.0 in control group. The third VAS score was significantly higher in the control group than massage group during third evaluation (9.2 ± 2.4 vs 6.7 ± 2.7) (p < 0.05). The mean duration of second stage was 24.6 ± 12.7 min in massage group and 31.7 ± 20.9 min in control group (p > 0.05). The mean scores of satisfaction about delivery were found as 8.8 ± 0.7 in massage group and 6.9 ± 0.8 in control group (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: It was determined in the study that lower back massage has a significant impact on reducing labor pain and increasing the satisfaction with birth. Health professionals, who work in the delivery unit, can use massage intervention for decreasing pain, shortening delivery time and increasing satisfaction with birth experience.

Keywords: Birth; Birth pain; Delivery; Labor pain; Massage; Non-pharmacologic pain relief methods.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Pain / therapy*
  • Labor Stage, First
  • Low Back Pain
  • Massage* / methods
  • Perception
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult