Foot reflexology on back pain after coronary angiography | 120 Participants

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The effects of foot reflexology on back pain after coronary angiography: A randomized controlled trial.

The effects of foot reflexology on back pain after coronary angiography: A randomized controlled trial.



Back pain is among the most common complaints of patients during the first hours after coronary angiography (CA), i.e. when they are restricted to complete bed rest. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of foot reflexology on back pain after CA.


This randomized controlled trial was conducted in 2018-2019 on patients hospitalized in the post-angiography unit of Razi hospital, Birjand, Iran. Through convenience sampling, 120 patients were recruited and their demographic characteristics and baseline back pain intensity were assessed immediately after angiography using a demographic questionnaire and a visual analogue scale, respectively.

Then, patients were randomly allocated to a control (n = 60) and a reflexology (n = 60) group through block randomization. Patients in the reflexology group received 8-min foot reflexology for each foot (16 min for both feet) while their counterparts in the control group solely received routine post-angiography care services.

Back pain assessment was repeated for all participants immediately, two, four, and 6 h after the intervention. Data were analyzed using the SPSS software (v. 16.0).


Back pain intensity significantly increased after angiography in both groups (P < 0.05). Yet, pain intensity in the reflexology group at all post-intervention measurement time points was significantly less than the control group (P < 0.001).


Foot reflexology is effective in significantly reducing back pain after CA.


Back pain; Coronary angiography; Foot reflexology


Kardan M, Zarei B, BahramiTaghanaki H, Vagharseyyedin SA, Azdaki N. The effects of foot reflexology on back pain after coronary angiography: A randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2020;38:101068. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.101068

Actionable Information for Reflexologists

In this section you will find how this research paper enacted reflexology to produce these results. We at Reflexology.Report distilled the Methodology portion of this research paper and we are presenting you with:

  • General methods used
  • Organization and duration of sessions
  • Reflexology points

The purpose of this section is to make this research paper useful to all reflexologists. This is a tool developed by the Center of Reflexology and Research (Κέντρο Ρεφλεξολογίας και Έρευνας) in Greece and supervised volunteers from across the world.

Initially, the therapist washed the intended patient’s feet using soap and fresh water, placed the patient in the supine position, stood at the bottom of his/her bed, and relaxed right foot muscles using gentle massage techniques such as traction and rotation which lasted 2 min.

Then, she exerted gentle pressure using the thumbs on the solar plexus and the spinal column reflex areas (Box 1) at a pressure of 3–4 kg. General foot massage, solar plexus reflexology, and spinal column reflexology each lasted 2 min with a 1-min interval between every two massage techniques—eight minutes in total. The same procedure was used for the left foot with the same massage duration.

The time interval between the right and the left foot reflexology was 2 min. Thus, the whole reflexology intervention for both feet lasted 18 min.

Αρχικά, ο ρεφλεξολόγος έπλυνε τα πόδια του ασθενούς με σαπούνι και νερό, τοποθέτησε τον ασθενή στην ύπτια θέση, στάθηκε στο κάτω μέρος του κρεβατιού του και χαλάρωσε τους μύες του δεξιού ποδιού χρησιμοποιώντας απαλές τεχνικές μασάζ, όπως έλξη και περιστροφή που διήρκεσαν για 2 λεπτά.

Στη συνέχεια άσκησε απαλή πίεση χρησιμοποιώντας τους αντίχειρες στο ηλιακό πλέγμα και στις περιοχές αντανακλαστικών της σπονδυλικής στήλης με πίεση 3-4 kg. Οι θωπείες στα πόδια, η ρεφλεξολογία στο ηλιακό πλέγμα και στη σπονδυλική στήλη διήρκεσαν 2 λεπτά με ένα διάστημα 1 λεπτού μεταξύ των δύο τεχνικών μασάζ: οκτώ λεπτά συνολικά.

Η ίδια διαδικασία χρησιμοποιήθηκε για το αριστερό πόδι με την ίδια διάρκεια μάλαξης. Το χρονικό διάστημα μεταξύ της άσκησης της ρεφλεξολογίας στη δεξιά και στην αριστερή πλευρά ήταν 2 λεπτά. Έτσι, όλη η παρέμβαση ρεφλεξολογίας και για τα δύο πόδια διήρκεσε 18 λεπτά.

Full PDF of the Reflexology Research Paper


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