Efficacy of Auricular Acupressure for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017 ;2017:6383649. Epub 2017 Jul 18. PMID: 28804504
OBJECTIVES: To identify the efficacy of auricular acupressure on pain and disability for chronic LBP by systematic review.
METHODS: A search of randomized controlled trials was conducted in four English medical electronic databases and three Chinese databases. Two reviewers independently retrieved related studies, assessed the methodological quality, and extracted data with a standardized data form. Meta-analyses were performed using all time-points meta-analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 7 trials met the inclusion criteria, of which 4 had the low risk of bias. The findings of this study showed that, for the immediate effect, auricular acupressure had large, significant effects in improving pain within 12 weeks. As for the follow-up effect, the pooled estimates also showed promising effect at 4-week follow-up after 4-week intervention (standardized mean difference = -1.13, 95% CI (-1.70, -0.56), P<0.001). But, for the disability level, the therapeutic effect was not significant (mean difference = -1.99, 95% CI (-4.93, 0.95), P = 0.18). No serious adverse effects were recorded.
CONCLUSIONS: The encouraging evidence of this study indicates that it is recommended to provide auricular acupressure to patients with chronic low back pain. However, a more accurate estimate of the effect will require further rigorously designed large-scale RCTs on chronic LBP for improving pain and disability.