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Journal of Integrative Medicine: Volume 15, 2017   Issue 4,  Pages: 295–301

DOI: 10.1016/S2095-4964(17)60348-0
Research Article
Use of ginger versus stretching exercises for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized controlled trial
1. Marjan Ahmad Shirvani (Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari 4816715793, Iran )
2. Narges Motahari-Tabari (Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari 4816715793, Iran )
3. Abbas Alipour (Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari 4847191971, Iran )


 BACKGROUND: Dysmenorrhea is a common gynecologic problem. In some cases, non-medical treatments are considered to be more effective, with fewer side effects. Ginger and exercise are alternative treatments for dysmenorrhea, but in the present study they were not combined.

OBJECTIVE: In this study, the effects of ginger and exercise on primary dysmenorrhea were compared.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTIONS: This randomized controlled trial was performed in Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Two groups of female students were recruited by simple random allocation. In each group, 61 students with moderate to severe primary dysmenorrhea with regular menstrual cycles and without a history of regular exercise were assessed. The ginger group received 250 mg ginger capsules from the onset of menstruation. In the exercise group, belly and pelvic stretching exercises were performed for 10 min, 3 times per week.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Intensity of pain was assessed according to a visual analogue scale after the first and the second month.

RESULTS: Exercise was significantly more effective than ginger for pain relief (31.57 ± 16.03 vs 38.19 ± 20.47, P = 0.02), severity of dysmenorrhea (63.9% vs 44.3% mild dysmenorrhea, P = 0.02) and decrease in menstrual duration (6.08 ± 1.22 vs 6.67 ± 1.24, P = 0.006), in the second cycle.

CONCLUSION: Stretching exercises, as a safe and low-cost treatment, are more effective than ginger for pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered in www.IRCT.ir with No. 201203118822N2.

Keywords: ginger; pain; primary dysmenorrhea; stretching exercise

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Shirvani MA, Motahari-Tabari N, Alipour A. Use of ginger versus stretching exercises for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized controlled trial. J Integr Med. 2017; 15(4): 295–301.
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