Some physiotherapy treatments may relieve menstrual pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea: a systematic review

Kannan, Priya and Claydon, Leica S. (2014) Some physiotherapy treatments may relieve menstrual pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy, 60 (1). pp. 13-21. ISSN 1836-9561

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Question: In women with primary dysmenorrhoea, what is the effect of physiotherapeutic interventions compared to control (either no treatment or placebo/sham) on pain and quality of life? Design: Systematic review of randomised trials with meta-analysis. Participants: Women with primary dysmenorrhea. Intervention: Any form of physiotherapy treatment. Outcome measures: The primary outcome was menstrual pain intensity and the secondary outcome was quality of life. Results: The search yielded 222 citations. Of these, 11 were eligible randomised trials and were included in the review. Meta-analysis revealed statistically significant reductions in pain severity on a 0–10 scale from acupuncture (weighted mean difference 2.3, 95% CI 1.6 to 2.9) and acupressure (weighted mean difference 1.4, 95% CI 0.8 to 1.9), when compared to a control group receiving no treatment. However, these are likely to be placebo effects because when the control groups in acupuncture/acupressure trials received a sham instead of no treatment, pain severity did not significantly differ between the groups. Significant reductions in pain intensity on a 0–10 scale were noted in individual trials of heat (by 1.8, 95% CI 0.9 to 2.7), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (2.3, 95% CI 0.03 to 4.2), and yoga (3.2, 95% CI 2.2 to 4.2). Meta-analysis of two trials of spinal manipulation showed no significant reduction in pain. None of the included studies measured quality of life. Conclusion: Physiotherapists could consider using heat, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and yoga in the management of primary dysmenorrhea. While benefits were also identified for acupuncture and acupressure in no-treatment controlled trials, the absence of significant effects in sham-controlled trials suggests these effects are mainly attributable to placebo effects.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Primary dysmenorrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Physical therapy modalities
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Medical Science (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 08:16
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:01

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