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B376 Massage-electroacupuncture versus epidural analgesia for patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial
  1. F Papanikolaou1,
  2. A Petsiti2,
  3. I Liampas3,
  4. A Chalkias3,
  5. M Gouva4 and
  6. E Arnaoutoglou5
  1. 1Faculty of Medicine University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece
  2. 2Anesthesiology Department University Hospital of Larisa, Larisa, Greece
  3. 3Faculty of Medicine University of Thessaly, Larisa, Greece
  4. 4Faculty of Nursing, Ioannina, Greece
  5. 5Faculty of Medicine Univesrity of Thessaly, Larisa, Greece


Background and Aims To compare Massage-Electroacupuncture (MA) versus Epidural Analgesia (EP) in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP).

Methods Patients with CLBP were randomly allocated to MA or EP. MA involved 8 sessions per week, while EP involved 3 epidural injections administered at 15-day intervals. Pain was evaluated using the 10-unit visual analogue scale, psychological parameters were assessed with the Profile of Mood States scale (POMS), and quality-of-life was appraised with the 36-item Short Form survey (SF-36). Evaluations were performed before randomization and immediately after the completion of each treatment, while two additional assessments by telephone were scheduled at 24- and 48-weeks post-intervention.

Results 110 patients [female 63 (58.7%), age 49.97±9.90 years] were allocated into the MA (n=55) and EP group (n=55). Significant improvements in pain levels were observed over the 48-week follow-up (p<0.001 in both groups). Total POMS improved immediately after the interventions (p<0.001 in both groups), but returned to baseline at the 24- and 48-week follow-up). Similar improvement was observed in the SF-36 (p<0.001 in both groups) but recessed after the 48-week follow-up. MA was superior to EP for pain management immediately after the intervention (1.89 vs. 3.00 VAS units; p<0.001) and at 48 weeks (2.05 vs. 3.70 VAS units; p<0.001) post-intervention.

Conclusions Both methods are equally effective in reducing chronic low back pain and improving psychological or quality-of-life parameters in patients with chronic low back pain.

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