Multimodal Therapy Combining Spinal Manipulation, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, and Heat for Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Prospective Case Study

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Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this case study was to report the effects of multimodal therapy as an adjunct to oral contraceptives on pain and menstrual symptoms in a patient with primary dysmenorrhea.

Clinical Features

A 27-year old nulligravid and nulliparous woman presented with low back pain, thigh pain, and menstrual symptoms associated with primary dysmenorrhea. Multimodal therapies (spinal manipulation, clinic-based transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and heat applied at home) were delivered over 3 menstrual cycles. Outcome measures included pain (visual analogue scale) and menstrual symptoms (Menstrual Distress Questionnaire) from baseline to follow-up. She continued to take her oral contraceptives throughout the study period.

Intervention and Outcome

For both low back and thigh pain, the patient reported clinically important differences in average pain and worst pain after 2 and 3 months from baseline. There were no clinically important differences in current pain, best pain, or menstrual symptoms at follow-up. No adverse events were reported.

Conclusion

Some of this patient’s dysmenorrhea symptoms responded favorably to multimodal therapy over 5 months. The authors observed important short-term reductions in low back and thigh pain (average and worst pain intensity) during care.

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