Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not grounding to the earth reduces subjective experience of pain.
STUDY DESIGN: This paper evaluates one double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial, one randomized placebo-controlled trial, and one prospective cohort trial investigating the efficacy of grounding in reducing subjects’ experience of pain.
DATA SOURCES: All articles were published in English language peer-reviewed journals and accessed through PubMed.
OUTCOMES MEASURED: The outcome measured in this review is the subjective experience of pain by study participants. Pain levels are measured using a visual-analog pain scale or pain survey.
RESULTS: Two studies showed a reduction in pain and one did not show a significant difference between grounding and control groups. The Ghaly et al., prospective cohort study showed 10/12 subjects reported decreased pain when sleeping and 7/11 subjects reported pain interfering less with activities. Brown et al., showed pain ratings at each interval in the grounded group were at least 80 percentage points lower than the ratings of the placebo group. Chevalier et al. did not show significant difference in pain between the grounded and placebo groups. The grounded groups showed higher percent change in pain from baseline at each interval.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on these three studies, grounding shows promise in reducing subjects’ subjective experience of pain. Due to one study being inconclusive and the small sample sizes of the others, more data needs to be collected in order to more definitively answer the question proposed by this review. Due to its safety and affordability, health care providers still may consider recommending using grounding as an adjunct therapy for their patients.
Umbro, Adam, "Does Grounding to the Earth Reduce Subjective Experience of Pain?" (2019). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 495.