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.
Astrocytic gliomas are the most common primary brain tumours that originated from human glial cells. The tumours rely upon endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) for neoangiogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the association between tissue resident EPCs in a brain tumour and normal adjacent tissue in relation to age and grade of astrocytic glioma. Astrocytic glioma patients (n=22), grade I to grade IV were consented from Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. Brain tumour tissue and normal adjacent brain tissue samples were obtained from each patient during surgery. The EPCs were stained with CD133+ and VEGFR-2+ markers. The tissue residents EPCs for each sample were determined using the immunofluorescence microscopy method. The age of the patients increased by disease severity in the following order (Grade I: 21.33±20.79 years) < (Grade II: 46.50±0.707 years) < (Grade III: 47.38±11.95 years) < (Grade IV: 48.44 ±10.66 years). The EPCs in brain tumour correlated significantly with the age of the patients with positive correlation (Spearman’s rho correlation test, r=0.52; p=0.013). The tissue resident EPCs in the brain tumour (median=0.40, IqR=0.59) were significantly higher compared with the adjacent normal brain (median=0.067, IqR=0.29) (Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test, Z stat=-3.587, p