A randomized clinical trial of auricular point acupressure for chronic low back pain: A feasibility study

Chao Hsing Yeh, Lung Chang Chien, Devora Balaban, Rebecca Sponberg, Jaclyn Primavera, Natalia E. Morone, Ronald Glick, Kathryn M. Albers, Susan M. Cohen, Dianxu Ren, Li Chun Huang, Kwai Ping Lorna Suen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. This prospective, randomized clinical trial (RCT) was designed to investigate the feasibility and effects of a 4-week auricular point acupressure (APA) for chronic low back pain (CLBP). Methods. Participants were randomized to either true APA (true acupoints with taped seeds on the designated ear points for CLBP) or sham APA (sham acupoints with taped seeds but on different locations than those designated for CLBP). The duration of treatment was four weeks. Participants were assessed before treatment, weekly during treatment, and 1 month following treatment. Results. Participants in the true APA group who completed the 4-week APA treatment had a 70% reduction in worst pain intensity, a 75% reduction in overall pain intensity, and a 42% improvement in disability due to back pain from baseline assessment. The reductions of worst pain and overall pain intensity in the true APA group were statistically greater than participants in the sham group (P < 0.01) at the completion of a 4-week APA and 1 month followup. Discussion. The preliminary findings of this feasibility study showed a reduction in pain intensity and improvement in physical function suggesting that APA may be a promising treatment for patients with CLBP.
Original languageEnglish
Article number196978
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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