Noninvasive Characterisation of Foot Reflexology Areas by Swept Source-Optical Coherence Tomography in Patients with Low Back Pain

Noninvasive Characterisation of Foot Reflexology Areas by 
Swept Source-Optical Coherence Tomography in Patients with Low Back Pain

Krishna Dalal,1 D. Elanchezhiyan,1 Raunak Das,2 Devjyoti Dalal,Ravindra Mohan Pandey,3 Subhamoy Chatterjee,4 Ashish Datt Upadhyay,V. Bharathi Maran,1 and
Jyotirmoy Chatterjee3

1 Department of Biophysics, All India Institute ofMedical Sciences, AnsariNagar,NewDelhi 110 029, India
2 School of Medical Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur,West Bengal 721 302, India
3Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110 029, India
4 Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India

Objective
When exploring the scientific basis of reflexology techniques, elucidation of the surface and subsurface features of reflexology areas (RAs) is crucial.
In this study, the subcutaneous features of RAs related to the lumbar vertebrae were evaluated by swept source-optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) in subjects with and without low back pain (LBP).

Methods 
Volunteers without LBP (𝑛 = 6 (male : female = 1 : 1)) and subjects with LBP (𝑛 = 15 (male : female = 2 : 3)) were clinically examined in terms of skin colour (visual perception), localised tenderness (visual analogue scale) and structural as well as optical attributes as per SSOCT.
From each subject, 6 optical tomograms were recorded from equidistant transverse planes along the longitudinal axis of the RAs, and from each tomogram, 25 different spatial locations were considered for recording SS-OCT image attributes.
The images were analysed with respect to the optical intensity distributions and thicknesses of different skin layers by using AxioVision Rel.4.8.2 software.
The SS-OCT images could be categorised into 4 pathological grades (i.e., 0, 1, 2, and 3) according to distinctness in the visible skin layers.

Results
Three specific grades for abnormalities in SS-OCT images were identified considering gradual loss of distinctness and increase in luminosity of skin layers. Almost 90.05% subjects were of mixed type having predominance in certain grades.

Conclusion
The skin SS-OCT system demonstrated a definite association of the surface features of healthy/unhealthy Ras with cutaneous features and the clinical status of the lumbar vertebrae.

Table 1:Optical and SS-OCT images of lumbar reflexology areas and corresponding pain history

Table 1:Optical and SS-OCT images of lumbar reflexology areas and corresponding pain history

Figure 1: The medial view of lumbar vertebrae Reflexology Area

Figure 1: The medial view of lumbar vertebrae Reflexology Area

Figure 4: The skin SS-OCT images of lumbar reflexology areas under different pathological conditions

Figure 4: The skin SS-OCT images of lumbar reflexology areas under different pathological conditions

Copyright © 2013 Krishna Dalal et al.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2013, Article ID 983769, 11 pages

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