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Labor and delivery pain is commonly considered to be the most pain a woman will ever experience. Options for pain control during labor include pharmacological and nonpharmacological. The purpose of this systematic literature is to determine if complementary manual therapies such as massage therapy, acupressure, and reflexology are effective nonpharmacologic management tools for labor pain. The electronic databases PubMed and ClinicalKey were searched, and the ten studies chosen for this review were randomized controlled trials published within the past ten years. Current research provides significant data supporting these three complementary modalities as effective nonpharmacologic management tools to control labor pain. Pain was effectively reduced at multiple points throughout the labor process in each of these studies. Future research could be conducted in the US using therapies in combination as well as using therapies to supplement pharmacological pain management. This research could aid in providing patient education on additional pain control methods during the childbirth process.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Date of Work


First Advisor

Solberg, Julie

Publication Date

Spring 2024


massage, massage therapy, acupressure, reflexology, foot massage, labor pain, birth and parturition


Medicine and Health Sciences

Efficacy of Complimentary Manual Therapies for Labor Pain Management