Worldwide, menstrual pain affects up to 90% of reproductive-age women. Dysmenorrhea can cause significant disruption to the daily lives of menstruating persons and absenteeism from work or school. The combination of first line treatment ineffectiveness and significant prevalence calls for further investigation into alternative treatments such as Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT).


This meta-analysis aims to aggregate the evidence supporting the use of OMT as a successful treatment option to reduce pain symptoms due to dysmenorrhea. The criteria for accepted articles in our analysis included the studies that mentioned primary dysmenorrhea, the use of a quantitative pain scale, and the inclusion of only patients with regular cycle lengths.


A total of four studies were compiled to compare the relative improvement that manual manipulative treatments had on reported pain intensity of primary dysmenorrhea, using the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). Total number of subjects in the experimental group was 88. The mean numeric pain rating scale amongst the studies was 5.4 before treatment and 2.6 after. The p-value of 0.023 is <0.05 and therefore statistically significant.


The meta-analysis combining data from four studies showed significant improvement of dysmenorrhea when treated with manual manipulative treatments. Findings warrant further investigation with a larger sample size with utilization of standardized OMM regimen.

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