Acupressure for chronic low back pain: a single system study

J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Aug;29(8):1416-1420. doi: 10.1589/jpts.29.1416. Epub 2017 Aug 10.


[Purpose] Low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of global disability. Acupressure is a manual approach that can be used for self-management of LBP. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of acupressure in treating chronic LBP. [Subjects and Methods] The research design was a single system study utilizing an AB design. The subject was recruited using convenience sampling. During phase A, the subject received traditional physical therapy interventions. During phase B, the subject received acupressure in addition to traditional physical therapy interventions. Outcomes included the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), the Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS), and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). [Results] For the VAS, the pain was 38.8 mm at baseline, decreased to 11.3 mm after phase A, and decreased to 2.5 mm after phase B. For the PSFS, the subject's function was 5/10 at baseline, remained the same after phase A, and increased to 9/10 after phase B. For the ODI, the subject's disability was moderate (30%) at the baseline, decreased to minimal (14%) after phase A, and completely resolved (0%) after phase B. [Conclusion] The data indicated that integrating acupressure in physical therapy could reduce pain, increase function, and decrease disability.

Keywords: Acupressure; Function; Low back pain.