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Osteopathic treatment in patients with primary dysmenorrhoea: A randomised controlled trial

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To investigate the effectiveness of a series of osteopathic treatments in patients with pain due to primary dysmenorrhoea.

      Design and settings

      Multi-centered randomised controlled trial with an osteopathic intervention group and an untreated (“waiting list”) control group.

      Subjects

      Women aged 14 years and older with a regular menstrual cycle, diagnosed with primary dysmenorrhoea.

      Intervention

      Six osteopathic treatments over a period of three menstrual cycles or no osteopathic treatment. At each treatment session, dysfunctional structures were tested and treated based on osteopathic principles. In both groups, pain medication on demand was allowed, but was documented.

      Outcome measures

      Primary outcome measures were average pain intensity (API) during menstruation, assessed by the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), and days of dysmenorrhoeal pain exceeding 50% of NRS maximum (DDP). Main secondary outcome measure was health-related quality of life.

      Results

      A total of 60 individuals (average age 33 years) were randomised, seven patients dropped out. API decreased in the intervention group from 4.6 to 1.9 (95%CI = −1.9 to −3.5), and from 4.3 to 4.2 in controls (95%CI = −0.7 to 0.5); between group difference of means (BGDoM): 2.6, 95%CI = 1.7 to 3.6; p < 0.005. DDP decreased from 2.2 to 0.2 days in the intervention group (95%CI = −2.5 to −1.3), and from 2.3 to 1.9 in controls (95%CI = −1.0 to 0.2); BGDoM 1.5; 95%CI = 0.6 to 2.3; p = 0.002. A positive impact on quality of life (physical component score) could be observed in the osteopathic treatment group only.

      Conclusions

      A series of osteopathic treatments might be beneficial for women suffering from primary dysmenorrhoea.

      Keywords

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