APA is a non-invasive style of treatment that involves the stimulation of specific points on the ear with small pellets that remain attached for several days. These points are known as acupressure points. Typically APA is used to alleviate symptoms related to addictions – i.e. smoking. The results of this latest study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh prove that APA is also a viable option for lessening chronic pain in the lower back.
Sixty-one participants took part in the trial. They were split into two groups, one that received real APA and one that received sham APA. Over a four-week period they were treated in-office and given instructions for how to self-treat at home. Each participant was given a diary and asked to record details of their own APA treatments, any changes in their pain intensity and what, if any, painkillers were also used. This also continued one month after their final session.
Of both groups, the real participants noted a 30% reduction in lower back pain after their first session with a 44% further reduction by the end of the four weeks. The use of analgesics also dropped in the real group compared to analgesic usage by participants in the sham group. The study concludes that APA is a “promising pain management strategy” with the potential for future trials.
Acupressure is part of our treatment protocol here at the clinic. We can offer this mode of acupressure with ear seeds – like the pellets – and teach our patients how to administer their own ear acupressure at home. This combined with regular acupuncture treatments gives the patient around-the-clock therapy for their back pain leading to better, longer lasting results.
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