Foot reflexology and connective tissue manipulation found to be safe, non-invasive treatments for dysmenorrhea
09/20/2019 // Evangelyn Rodriguez // Views

In this study, researchers from Gaziosmanpasa University in Turkey conducted an interventional correlational study to compare the effects of foot reflexology (FR) and connected tissue manipulation (CTM) on patients with primary dysmenorrhea. The results of their study were published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

  • For this study, the researchers worked with a total of 30 participants with primary dysmenorrhea.
  • They gathered the following data from the participants:

    • Demographics -- age, body mass index (BMI)
    • Menstrual cycle -- age at menarche, menstrual cycle duration, time since menarche, and bleeding duration
    • Menstrual pain characteristics -- intensity of pain, duration of pain, type of analgesics used, amount of analgesics used

  • Using the visual analog scale, the researchers assessed the effect of dysmenorrhea on the participants' concentration during lessons, while playing sports, and while engaging in social activities.
  • The researchers selected 15 participants to receive FR three days a week, while the rest received CTM treatment five days a week. The treatments were performed during one cycle, which started on the third and fourth day of the participants' menstruation and continued until the onset of their next menstruation.
  • The researchers performed assessments before treatment (first menstruation), after treatment has ended (second menstruation), and almost a month later (third menstrual cycle).
  • Both treatments improved pain duration and pain intensity, as well as the amount of analgesic used.
  • They also improved the participants' concentration during lessons and reduced the difficulty of playing sports and engaging in social activities caused by dysmenorrhea.
  • In addition, menstruation-related symptoms decreased after treatment and in the following cycle with no treatments, where no difference existed between the groups.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that FR and CTM can be used to treat primary dysmenorrhea and menstruation-related symptoms as both are free from the adverse effects of analgesics, non-invasive, and easy to perform.

Journal Reference:

Demirturk F, Erkek ZY, Alparslan O, Demirturk F, Demir O, Inanir A. COMPARISON OF REFLEXOLOGY AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE MANIPULATION IN PARTICIPANTS WITH PRIMARY DYSMENORRHEA. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 15 January 2016;22(1):38–44. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2015.0050

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