Reflexology in 50 nurses with chronic low back pain

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The effect of reflexology on pain perception aspects in nurses with chronic low back pain in Isfahan



The most important part in experiencing and recognizing the threshold of pain is the perception of pain. Reflexology is a kind of complementary therapy which is rooted in the beliefs of the community. This study was aimed to determine the effect of reflexology on pain perception aspects in patients with chronic low back pain.

Materials and Methods:

This single-blind clinical trial study was performed on 50 nurses with chronic low back pain, who were selected by convenient sampling and then randomly divided into the case and the control groups. Reflexology was conducted for 2 weeks in both groups as three 40-min sessions per week. Perception aspects of pain were measured using the McGill pain perceptual dimension scale score. Data analysis was performed using SPSS.


The overall mean scores of perceptual aspects of pain after the intervention in the case and the control groups were 20 ± 5.97 and 29.60 ± 7.38, respectively, and independent t-test showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.001). Comparing the results in the cognitive aspects of pain separately showed a significant difference between the two groups in the aspects of sensory, pain assessment, and diversity before and after the intervention (P < 0.001), but the difference in the emotional aspect was not significant.


Reflexology, which can be done by nurses, has the ability to reduce the intensity score and cognitive aspects of pain. Therefore, it is proposed to be included in patients’ surveillance.

Key words: Chronic pain, low back pain, perception of pain, reflexology


Babadi ME, Nazari F, Safari R, Abdoli S. The effect of reflexology on pain perception aspects in nurses with chronic low back pain in Isfahan. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2016;21(5):487‐492. doi:10.4103/1735-9066.193395

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.

Simple massage was applied on the legs toward the ankles, on the soles, on the feet, and finally on the toes. These movements were repeated several times. In addition, the ankle (while the heel was supported by one hand) was turned to the left and right several times.

These two techniques were relaxation techniques that relaxed the feet to be ready for reflexology. At first, general reflexology was performed by massaging all the specific reflex points on the feet (right and left upper parts of the inner and outer soles).

Then special reflexology massage of the lumbar region (the inner side of the arc feet) was applied for each foot between 5 and 10 min. Total time of intervention for each foot separately was 20 min (40 min for both feet).

Απλό μασάζ εφαρμόστηκε στα πόδια με κατεύθυνση προς τους αστραγάλους, στα πέλματα και τέλος στα δάχτυλα των ποδιών. Αυτές οι κινήσεις επαναλήφθηκαν αρκετές φορές. Επιπλέον, ο αστράγαλος (ενώ η φτέρνα στηριζόταν από το ένα χέρι) περιστράφηκε αριστερά και δεξιά αρκετές φορές. Αυτές οι δύο τεχνικές ήταν τεχνικές χαλάρωσης που χαλαρώνουν τα κάτω άκρα για να είναι έτοιμα για ρεφλεξολογία.

Αρχικά, η ρεφλεξολογία πραγματοποιήθηκε με πίεση όλων των ειδικών αντανακλαστικών σημείων στα πόδια (στο πάνω μέρος της έσω και έξω περιοχής του κάθε πέλματος) . Στη συνέχεια, εφαρμόστηκε ρεφλεξολογία στην οσφυϊκή περιοχή (στην καμάρα του κάθε ποδιού) για κάθε πόδι με διάρκεια 5 εώς 10 λεπτά. Ο συνολικός χρόνος παρέμβασης για κάθε πόδι ξεχωριστά ήταν 20 λεπτά (40 λεπτά και για τα δύο πόδια).

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