Osteopathic treatment improves the Quality of Life in Menstrual Migraine versus control group | The International Academy of Osteopathy IAO

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Osteopathic treatment improves the Quality of Life in Menstrual Migraine versus control group


Author: Heleen Appelmans, B. Sc.
Supervisor: Dr. Didier Hebberecht


Background: Menstrual migraine is a primary headache with huge impact on the quality of life of the sufferers. The pathophysiology of this condition is currently not well understood and the common therapy at this moment is a classic medicated treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate whether osteopathy offers an effective treatment.

Methods: In this study changes were assessed by two questionnaires, the first was a migraine specific quality of life questionnaire, which contained 25 items and a Likert scale, and the second, a questionnaire identifying medication use and frequency. The questionnaires were filled out after three successive menses, whereby the last questionnaire investigated the long term effect of quality of life and medication intake. This study was conducted on 37 women with menstrual migraine, who were randomly assigned into one of two groups, a control group and a treated group. The treated group received two osteopathic treatments, each treatment was individually determined based on the structural, cranial and visceral findings of the patient. The control group were not treated osteopathically, but continued any medication they had been prescribed.

Results: The results of the study shows that the treated group improves strong significant between first and last measurement (P < 0.001) with a strong significant effect after osteopathic manipulative treatment (P < 0.001). The control group does not improve during the study (P = 0.551). Overall a strong significant treatment effect is demonstrated in the treated group, especially between menses 1 and menses 2 (P < 0.001). In addition medication intake decreases significantly in the treated group (P = 0.007) in comparison with the control group (P = 0.102). Moreover a negative correlation (P = 0.027) between treatment effect and age reveals in this study.

Conclusion: In summary, in this study, it was established that osteopathy improves the quality of life and decreases the medication intake in the treated group in comparison with the control group as assessed by the questionnaires.

Key words: Menstrual migraine, headache, osteopathic treatment, quality of life (QOL), menstrual cycle