Pressure Intensity of a Chinese Massage Technique for Treating Low Back Pain


Taipei Medical University




Low Back Pain, Mechanical


Other: Buffalo horn technique

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The Investigators conduct this study to compare two different massage methods with "buffalo horn technique": the deep massage and the superficial massage. To explore the effects of the two interventions on low back pain, the investigators evaluated the outcome measurements regarding pain severity and physical functions before and after 6 times of treatment through a 3-week period.

Full description

Background: Nonspecific lower back pain is an important global health issue, with high prevalence over the world and causing huge economic loss. This research is a double-blind randomized controlled trial. In this study the investigators introduce a technique derived from traditional Chinese massage using a special tool made from buffalo's horns to perform the massage, so called "buffalo horn technique". The tool is like a short rod in about 15-cm length with a cone-like end. During the massage, the therapist presses the cone-like end against the painful region of back. Because the cone-like end has a small contact area with the participant's body surface, it may release deep layer fascia with higher pressure produced by the therapist toward the treatment area. During the intervention of shallow massage, the therapist applies a lower force then that used in the deep massage. Thus it produces a lower pressure on the painful region due to a larger contact surface when pressing the rod end against the body of the participant. Participants are randomly assigned to either deep-massage group (DM) or superficial-massage (SM) group. The participants received two sessions a week for a total six sessions. The outcome measures include the structured questionnaire to investigate the pain-related outcomes and back pain-related disabilities. The investigators also perform the clinical assessments such as range of motion of trunk. All the outcomes are assessed before-intervention (pretest) and after the end of intervention (posttest).


56 patients




20 to 65 years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  1. Female
  2. Non-specific low back pain over 1 months
  3. 20-65 years old
  4. No experience of massage therapy within 2 months prior to the study inclusion.

Exclusion criteria

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Back pain associated with systemic disease (autoimmune, infectious, vascular, endocrine, metabolic, or neoplastic disease)
  3. Previous spine surgery.
  4. Presentation with neurological signs such as radiating pain.
  5. .Skin diseases (psoriasis, urticaria, wounds, etc.)

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Double Blind

56 participants in 2 patient groups

Deep massage (DM) group
Experimental group
The therapist performs the deep massage with "buffalo horn technique". A small rod with a cone-like end was used in the technique. By pressuring the rod end with a higher force against the body surface of the participant, it produces higher pressure that may release the deep-layer fascia of muscles. Thus this technique features a deep massage.
Other: Buffalo horn technique
Superficial massage (SM) group
Active Comparator group
The therapist performs the superficial massage with "buffalo horn technique". By pressuring the rod end with a lower force against the body surface of the participant, it produces lower pressure. Thus this intervention features a superficial massage.
Other: Buffalo horn technique

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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