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Managing Menstrual Pain: The Effect of Abdominal Massage and Exercise


Clinical trial shows massage is helpful for alleviating menstrual cramps

Dysmenorrhea, also known as menstrual cramps, is a common gynecological problem experienced by many women during their menstrual cycle. It is estimated that about 50% to 90% of women experience dysmenorrhea during their reproductive years. Dysmenorrhea can cause pain and discomfort, which can interfere with daily activities.


The severity of dysmenorrhea symptoms can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain, lasting several days. Dysmenorrhea can cause other symptoms, such as fatigue, mood changes, and heavy menstrual bleeding.

Clinical Trial

A study aimed to investigate the effect of abdominal massage and stretching exercises on dysmenorrhea symptoms, menstrual blood loss, and pain severity in university students. This single-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial included 63 university students randomly assigned to one of three groups: massage, exercise, or control. The massage group received abdominal massage, the exercise group performed stretching exercises, and the control group received no intervention.

The participants completed a questionnaire to assess their dysmenorrhea symptoms, including pain severity, fatigue, mood changes, and menstrual blood loss. The questionnaire was completed before and during the second menstrual cycle after the intervention.

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The study showed that the massage group had significantly lower scores for abdominal-back pain and fatigue during the second menstrual cycle after the intervention. The exercise group had significantly lower scores for mood changes during the second menstrual cycle after the intervention. However, there was no significant difference between the groups regarding pain severity, as measured by the Visual Analogue Scale, or menstrual blood loss.


The findings of this study suggest that abdominal massage and stretching exercises may effectively alleviate dysmenorrhea symptoms in university students. The abdominal massage effectively reduced abdominal-back pain and fatigue, while stretching exercises effectively reduced mood changes. While these interventions may not eliminate dysmenorrhea symptoms, they may offer a safe and non-invasive alternative to traditional pain medication. Further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of these interventions on dysmenorrhea symptoms.
Health Care for Women International, Aug-18-22
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03821207

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.