Mensendieck somatocognitive therapy as treatment approach to chronic pelvic pain: Results of a randomized controlled intervention study

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Abstract

Objective

The etiology of chronic pelvic pain is disputed and multifactorial. We studied the effect of Mensendieck somatocognitive therapy aimed at reducing physical pain by changing posture, movement and respiration patterns combined with standard gynecological treatment.

Study design

Women with chronic pelvic pain unexplained by pelvic pathology were randomized into 2 groups: (1) standard gynecological treatment and (2) gynecological treatment plus somatocognitive therapy. A Mensendieck test of motor function (posture, movement, gait, sitting posture, respiration) and a visual analogue score of pain were obtained before and after the 90-day treatment period.

Results

The test results of patients treated by standard gynecological measures were unchanged (nonsignificant). By contrast, the patients receiving somatocognitive therapy in addition improved scores by 25% to 60% for all motor functions (P < .01, largest improvement for respiration, up from average 2.98 [SEM 0.30] to 4.72 [0.37]), and pain scores reduced by 50% (down from 5.60 [0.40] to 2.89 [0.40], P < .01).

Conclusion

Mensendieck somatocognitive therapy combined with standard gynecological care improved pain experience and motor functions of women with chronic pelvic pain better than gynecological treatment alone.

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