Introduction Non-specific low back pain is one of the most common physical ailments
affecting millions of people worldwide. This condition constitutes a
significant public health problem and was listed as a prevalent health
complaint in most societies. Even though there are many anecdotal claims
for reflexology in the treatment of various conditions such as a migraine,
arthritis and multiple sclerosis, but very little clinical evidence exists for
reflexology on the management of low back pain per se. This study aims to
evaluate the effects of foot reflexology therapy as an adjunctive treatment to
the Malaysian low back pain standard care in relieving pain and promoting
health-related quality of life among people with non-specific low back pain.
Methods This is a parallel randomized controlled trial with pre and post-treatment
study design. The study setting for the intervention located at Penawar
Reflexology Center, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. A total of 100
participants with non-specific low back pain will be allocated to one of two
groups, using a randomization computer program of Research Randomizer.
The control group will receive low back pain standard care, while the
intervention group will receive standard care plus eight sessions of foot
reflexology therapy. The pain intensity and health-related quality of life
scores will be measured using Visual Analogue Scale and Euro-quality of
life scale respectively in both groups. The study was approved by the
Human Research Ethics Committee of University Sultan Zainal Abidin
(UHREC/2016/2/011). The study protocol was registered at
ClinicalTrials.gov, with the ID number of NCT02887430.
Measurements Outcome measures will be undertaken at pre-intervention (week 1), postintervention
(week 6) and follow-up (week 10).
Conclusions This will be the first trial to compare the foot reflexology therapy with
control group among people who medically diagnosed with non-specific low
back pain in Malaysia. The result of this study will contribute to better
management of this population, especially for Malaysia healthcare setting.
Study site: Penawar Reflexology Center, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia