June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Intraocular Pressure in Ocular Hypertension and Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Patients
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dillan Patel
    Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Jeffrey D Henderer
    Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Preston Kung
    Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook, New York, United States
  • Devin Cohen
    Scheie Eye Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Andrew Krane
    Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Daohai Yu
    Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Dillan Patel, None; Jeffrey Henderer, None; Preston Kung, None; Devin Cohen, None; Andrew Krane, None; Daohai Yu, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 2563. doi:
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      Dillan Patel, Jeffrey D Henderer, Preston Kung, Devin Cohen, Andrew Krane, Daohai Yu; The Effect of Foot Reflexology on Intraocular Pressure in Ocular Hypertension and Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):2563.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : To determine the effect of foot reflexology in primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) patients and the effect of a shoe insert to perform continuous foot reflexology in ocular hypertensive (OHTN) patients.

Methods : This is a prospective pilot study in glaucoma patients and a prospective therapeutic trial in ocular hypertensive patients. Patients were recruited from the Temple Ophthalmology outpatient clinic. Open-angle glaucoma patients were recruited from those about to have selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) for additional intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering. OHTN patients were recruited from the clinic. The glaucoma patients performed a 5-minute foot massage on a foot massage board (Figure 1) and the IOP was checked pre-massage, post-massage and 30, 60, 90 and 120 min post massage. OHTN patients underwent a one-month drop washout and then performed a 5-minute massage using a 3D-printed shoe insert (Figure 2) with the identical pressure checks. They then were randomly assigned to wear the shoe insert or a sham insert for one day. IOP was checked before inserting the insert and at the end of the day. The number of steps was recorded each day.

Results : For the glaucoma patients, after the 5-minute foot massage, the IOP significantly decreased up to 10% at 30, 90 and 120 min after massage in the right eye and up to 23% at all time points in the left. For the OHTN patients, IOP significantly decreased 6-13% in both eyes at all time points. For the shoe insert, there was a significant reduction in IOP of 10% for the left eye IOP but not the right eye at 6%. Two OHTN patients did not respond to the all-day shoe insert when they had responded to the 5-minute massage and one patient didn’t respond at all.

Conclusions : Foot reflexology significantly lowers IOP in both glaucoma and OHTN patients. The use of this shoe insert to try and replicate the foot massage had promising, but somewhat inconsistent results. A different shoe insert might be better able to replicate the effect of the massage.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

 

Foot reflexology board (JAPAN TSUBO HH-700) with massage locations focused at the base of the second and third toes (black circles)

Foot reflexology board (JAPAN TSUBO HH-700) with massage locations focused at the base of the second and third toes (black circles)

 

These inserts mimic the node on the foot board and the soft plastic allows the insert to be cut to fit the shoe to so that patient can wear the insert in their shoe throughout the day.

These inserts mimic the node on the foot board and the soft plastic allows the insert to be cut to fit the shoe to so that patient can wear the insert in their shoe throughout the day.

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