All patient's completed treatment and follow-up. Overall treatment response (substantial reduction of pain and NSAID assumption was observed in 13 of 15 patients (87%). Overall, pain remained unchanged, was only temporarily reduced, was permanently reduced or disappeared and did not recur in 2, 3, 3 or 7 patients, respectively. Detailed data on pain over time are given in Figure 1.
Pain response over time. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) values in single patients at different points in time (T1 = baseline, T2 = mid treatment, T3 = end treatment, T4 = 3 months after treatment, T5 = 6 months after treatment).
Figure 2 shows the average effects of treatment on pain at different time points: VAS based pain intensity was reduced with respect to baseline value (average VAS = 8.5), namely by 64, 72, 60 or 53% at T2, T3, T4 or T5, respectively. Greater reduction of pain was observed for primary (82, 88, 66 and 51%) as compared with secondary dysmenorrhea (47, 57, 56 and 56%). Pain intensity reduction with respect to T1 was statistically significant at T3 (P = 0.0008) and at T5 (P = 0.0022).
Average results of treatment on pain, measured at VAS, at different points in time and according to dysmenorrhea type (primary or secondary).
Figure 3 shows treatment results according to pain duration (days) at different points in time. Average pain duration at baseline (2.6 days) was reduced by 62, 69, 54 or 54% at T2, T3, T4 or T5, respectively. Pain duration with respect to T1 was significantly reduced at T3 (P = 0.0004) and at T5 (P = 0.0016).
NSAID use was recorded in all patients at baseline. Average NSAID use was reduced by 63, 74, 58 or 58% at T2, T3, T4 or T5, respectively, and ceased totally in 7 patients, still asymptomatic 6 months after treatment. Data are summarized in Figure 4. NSAID average consumption with respect to T1 was significantly reduced at T3 (P = 0.0008) and at T5 (P = 0.0015).
Total use of anti-pain drugs before, during, and after acupuncture treatment (T1 = baseline, T2 = mid treatment, T3 = end treatment, T4 = 3 months after treatment, T5 = 6 months after treatment).
No side effects of acupuncture were observed or reported by patients.
Although acupuncture substantially reduced NSAID use, cost analysis showed a higher cost for the acupuncture policy (€2,148.14) as compared with predicted cost of NSAID use (€120.03).
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008;5(2):227-230. © 2008 Oxford University Press
Cite this: Acupuncture Treatment of Dysmenorrhea Resistant to Conventional Medical Treatment - Medscape - Jun 01, 2008.