The Benefits of Reflexology for the Chronic Pain Patient in a Military Pain Clinic

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The Benefits of Reflexology for the Chronic Pain Patient in a Military Pain Clinic


Background: Chronic pain is a major cause of disability across the military, especially for the combat Soldier. More than twothirds of Americans with chronic pain are now using complementary medicine.

Methods: Patients with chronic pain opting for reflexology as part of their treatment plan received bilateral therapy. Alternating pressure was applied to the individual patient’s reflex points corresponding to their pain sites. Following a single treatment session, patients were asked to complete a short survey.

Discussion: There is evidence that reflexology is therapeutic for many conditions, to include sleep and anxiety, both of which can be comorbidity in the patient with chronic pain. There is a lack of evidence on the use of reflexology with chronic pain patients receiving multidisciplinary pain care.

Results: A total of 311 participants completed the survey. Posttreatment pain scored decreased by a median of 2 points (interquartile range [IQR] 1-3) on a 10-point pain scale. This represents a median 43% (IQR 25%-60%) reduction in pain for males and a 41% (IQR 30%-60%) reduction in pain for females.

Conclusion: Currently research is limited on effects of reflexology in treating chronic pain, yet, like acupuncture, this is an inexpensive, reliable, teachable, and simple noninvasive treatment. Further studies are warranted.


Kern C, McCoart A, Beltranm T, Martoszek M. The Benefits of Reflexology for the Chronic Pain Patient in a Military Pain Clinic. J Spec Oper Med. 2018 Winter;18(4):103-105. PMID: 30566732.

The conclusion of this research paper in Greek

The purpose of this section is to make this research paper useful to Greek speaking 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.

Μετάφραση των συμπερασμάτων της συγκεκριμένης έρευνας:

Επί του παρόντος, η έρευνα είναι περιορισμένη σχετικά με τις επιδράσεις της ρεφλεξολογίας στη θεραπεία του χρόνιου πόνου, ωστόσο, όπως ο βελονισμός,  είναι μια οικονομική, αξιόπιστη, διδάξιμη και απλή μη επεμβατική θεραπεία. Είναι απαραίτητες περαιτέρω μελέτες .

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