Prospective Case Series on the Effects of Lumbosacral Manipulation on Dysmenorrhea

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Abstract

Objective

The objective of this prospective case series was to collect preliminary data as to the effectiveness of a specific chiropractic technique, drop table method, in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.

Methods

Over a 4-week period, 16 females were screened for symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea and motion restrictions of the lumbosacral spine. Thirteen subjects were enrolled into the study. Bilateral and unilateral lumbosacral flexion and extension restrictions were treated using drop table manipulations 3 times during each of the 2 consecutive menstrual cycles. Before entering the study and at the end of each menstrual cycle, the subjects self-reported ratings of menstrual pain (abdominal, pelvic, and low back pain) and associated symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea using Numeric Pain Scale. Numeric Pain Scale ratings for menstrual pain were the primary outcome measures.

Results

The median age was 26 years, and the median self-reported duration of the symptoms was 12 years. At baseline, all subjects reported pain severity scores of 5 or higher for at least 2 of 3 anatomical sites: lower or general abdominal pain and/or lower back pain. Using the 95% confidence interval (CI) as an estimate, clinically meaningful changes (<5) in general abdominal pain and lower back pain were evident for most patients during the treatment phase, whereas for lower abdominal pain, the improvements were subject and cycle dependent.

Conclusions

Menstrual pain associated with primary dysmenorrhea may be alleviated with treatment of motion segment restrictions of the lumbosacral spine with drop table technique.

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