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

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Kern C, McCoart A, Beltranm T, Martoszek M 18(4). 103 - 105 (Journal Article)

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.

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