A new study has shown that self administered acupressure can improve fatigue and pain symptoms in people who experience chronic lower back pain. This traditional Chinese medicine technique may be a better treatment than medication which can have serious side effects and can lead to addiction and abuse.
The study conducted at the Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, included 67 participants who all had chronic low back pain. There were placed in one of 3 different groups. The three groups included usual care, stimulating acupressure and relaxing acupressure.
Stimulating acupressure is directed towards fatigue reduction and relaxing acupressure is directed towards reducing insomnia.
The participants in the two acupressure groups had been trained to administer acupressure at certain points on their body. They spent between 27 to 30 minutes daily over six weeks performing their specific technique.
The participants who were placed in the usual care group were instructed to continue the treatments they were currently receiving to manage their fatigue and back pain from their health or medical provider.
When results were compared to the usual care group, the researchers found that those participants who performed stimulating acupressure experienced both fatigue and pain improvement. The participants who performed the relaxing acupressure indicated their pain had shown improvement after the six week period. They did not find any differences in the groups in regards to disability or sleep quality after the trial period.
Chronic pain can be difficult to manage, and people who experience this pain tend to experience other symptoms such as sleep disturbances, depression and fatigue. The study highlights the benefits from a non pharmacological treatment plan that patients can perform very easily on their own and result in positive pain management.
Larger studies are needed, however acupressure could be a useful strategy for pain management. It is low cost, low risk and easy to self administer. For now one can find several books with specific instructions for this type of technique by doing a search on on Amazon.com for accupressure books.
The team recommends additional studies into the different varieties of acupressure and how some of these techniques could specifically be targeted to people based on their symptoms.
To view the original scientific study click below