Acupressure significantly reduces chronic back pain intensity and improves functional status – Efficacy of acupressure for chronic low back pain: A systematic review, 2020
Chronic back pain is a prevalent and burdensome condition in the United Kingdom (UK). According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), it is estimated that around 20% of the UK population experiences chronic back pain at any given time. The condition can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, leading to physical limitations, reduced mobility, and limitations in daily activities.
Chronic back pain is also associated with significant healthcare costs and productivity losses due to absenteeism from work. Various factors contribute to the development of chronic back pain, including sedentary lifestyles, poor posture, obesity, occupational hazards, psychological factors, and structural abnormalities. Given the high prevalence and negative impact of chronic back pain, there is a need for effective management strategies and interventions to alleviate pain, improve function, and enhance the overall well-being of individuals suffering from this condition in the UK.
A systematic review of English articles published in the last 15 years, between January 1, 2004 to July 31, 2019, using the databases of PubMed and Embase found that all one hundred and thirteen studies on acupressure showed significant improvements in the treatment outcomes for chronic back pain. Importantly, these studies not only looked at pain reduction but also other clinically relevant outcomes for adults suffering from chronic pain. The studies show that incorporating acupressure techniques as part of a comprehensive approach to overall health and well-being supports spinal health and aids to preventing spinal disorders in the future.
The overall results of the review include:
- All studies found a clinically significant reduction (, ≥30% decrease) in pain for the treatment groups.
- All studies found a clinically significant and/or statistically significant improvement in disability in at least one of the treatment groups.
- All studies found a statistically significant improvement in sleep.
- All studies found a statically significant improvement in the overall patient well-being: physical functioning, quality of life, and emotional and mental health.