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Phys Ther. 1989 Jan;69(1):3-9.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in the relief of primary dysmenorrhea.

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Spain Rehabilitation Center, University of Alabama Hospitals, Birmingham 35294.


The purpose of this study was to replicate a previous study to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in treating primary dysmenorrhea. Twenty-one women with dysmenorrhea received a placebo pill or 30 minutes of acupuncture-like TENS. All subjects completed two pain questionnaires before treatment; immediately posttreatment; 30, 60, 120, and 180 minutes posttreatment; and the next morning upon awakening. Each woman also participated in a separate study measuring electrical resistance at four auricular acupuncture points before and immediately after treatment. The data were analyzed with a two-factor repeated-measures analysis of variance, which revealed statistical significance over time but not for group or interaction between group and time. Results revealed an average pain relief of at least 50% immediately posttreatment, indicating that acupuncture-like TENS may be useful for dysmenorrheic pain. This study also suggests that auriculotherapy via acupressure may relieve the pain of primary dysmenorrhea.

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