Skin adhesive low-level light therapy for dysmenorrhoea: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot trial

Abstract

Purpose

The cause of dysmenorrhoea is an abnormal function of smooth muscles in the uterus due to long-term deficient blood supply into smooth muscle tissue. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of skin adhesive low-level light therapy (LLLT) in participants with dysmenorrhoea.

Methods

Thirty-one women were included in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot trial. Twenty-one women were treated with active LLLT and ten women were treated with placebo one. The therapy was performed in a laboratory room for 20 min a day over a period of 5 days prior to the expected onset of menstruation. The outcome was measured using a visual analog scale (VAS) for each participant’s dysmenorrhoeal pain severity. VAS of each subject was measured every month for 6 months.

Results

In the active LLLT group, 16 women reported successful results during their first menstrual cycle just after active LLLT and 5 women had successful results from the second menstrual cycle after active LLLT. The pain reduction rate was 83 % in the active LLLT group, whereas there was only a slight and temporary reduction in pain in the placebo LLLT group. Changes of VAS within 6 months of LLLT showed statistical significance (p = 0.001) over placebo control.

Conclusions

Our study suggests that skin adhesive LLLT on acupuncture points might be an effective, simple and safe non-pharmacological treatment for dysmenorrhoea.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Grant of the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (The Regional Core Research Program/Center for Healthcare Technology Development). All devices used in this study were supported by Color Seven Company.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Nam-Gyun Kim.

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Shin, Y., Kim, N., Park, K. et al. Skin adhesive low-level light therapy for dysmenorrhoea: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot trial. Arch Gynecol Obstet 286, 947–952 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-012-2380-9

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Keywords

  • Low-level light therapy
  • Dysmenorrhoea
  • Acupuncture point
  • Smooth muscle relaxation