Effect of acupressure on postpartum low back pain, salivary cortisol, physical limitations, and depression: a randomized controlled pilot study

Hsuesh Yu Cheng, Carol Shieh, Bei Yu Wu, Yu Fen Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of acupressure on postpartum low back pain (LBP), salivary cortisol, physical limitations, and postpartum depression. METHODS: Participants were 70 postpartum women who were randomly assigned to either an intervention (n = 35) or a control (n = 35) group. The intervention group received 10 acupressure sessions (1 session per day, 5 d per week). The control group received 10 sham acupressure sessions. Outcomes were assessed using a visual analogue scale (LBP intensity), salivary cortisol values (LBP biomarker), and Chinese versions of the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (daily activity limitations), Oswestry Disability Index (physical activity limitations), and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (postpartum depression). RESULTS: Participants in the intervention group had significantly lower levels of LBP intensity, daily activity limitations, physical activity limitations, and postpartum depression than those in the control group. There was no significant between-group difference in salivary cortisol. CONCLUSION: Acupressure may reduce postpartum LBP intensity and limitations in daily and physical activity, and alleviate postpartum depressive symptoms. Acupressure should be offered in postpartum care settings as an alternative treatment for postpartum women with LBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Volume40
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 15 2020

Keywords

  • Acupressure
  • Depression
  • Low back pain
  • Pilot projects
  • Postpartum period
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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