The Effect of Reflexology on Low Back Pain in Operating Room Nurses


The Effect of Reflexology on Low Back Pain in Operating Room Nurses


The following study was published in the journal ‘Holistic Nurse Practitioner’ - 2020 Dec 9th – showing that reflexology was helpful to operating room nurses experiencing low back pain.

Operating room nurses often face acute or chronic back and low back pains, shoulder and neck injuries. In recent years, the use of complementary and alternative treatment methods has been increasing due to the fact that pharmacological treatment cannot control the pain in general, and its various side effects and cost. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of foot reflexology on low back pain of operating room nurses. 

The study was conducted with 38 operating room nurses. The nurses in the experimental group were given a 30-minute reflexology protocol once a week for 4 weeks and their pain levels were assessed again at week 5. The control group nurses did not receive any intervention. Data were collected using a demographic information form and a visual analog scale (VAS). 

The low back pain of the nurses in the reflexology group decreased significantly at week 5 compared with week 1, whereas the severity of low back pain of the nurses in the control group did not change between weeks 1 and 5. 

There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of the mean VAS pain score at week 1. However, the nurses in the reflexology group had significantly lower VAS pain mean scores at week 5 than the control group. 

In this study, reflexology significantly reduced the pain of nurses who had low back pain. Therefore, the researchers concluded, reflexology might be useful in controlling low back pain of operating room nurses.



Kandemir D, Abdullayev A, Seyhan Ak E, Altun Ugras G, Kanan N. The Effect of Reflexology on Low Back Pain in Operating Room Nurses. Holist Nurs Pract. 2020 Dec 9. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000428. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33306494.

Original study

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