Wet needling of myofascial trigger points in abdominal muscles for treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea

Acupunct Med. 2014 Aug;32(4):346-9. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010509. Epub 2014 May 7.


Objectives: To evaluate the effect of wet needling (related to acupuncture) and home stretching exercises on myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in abdominal muscles for the treatment of dysmenorrhoea.

Methods: The effect of wet needing of MTrPs in abdominal muscles, supplemented by home stretching exercises, was observed in 65 patients with moderate and severe primary dysmenorrhoea. The MTrPs in the abdominal region were localised and repeatedly needled with lidocaine injection. Menstrual pain was evaluated with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score after every treatment, with the final evaluation made at a 1-year follow-up. Treatment was stopped when the VAS pain score reduced to ≤3. Symptoms scores were analysed with one-way analysis of variance.

Results: The mean VAS pain score before treatment was 7.49±1.16. After a single wet needling session, 41 patients had a reduction in their VAS pain score to <3 during their following menstrual cycle, with a mean of 1.63±0.49. Twenty-four patients who needed two treatments showed a reduction in menstrual pain scores to 0.58±0.50. After 1 year, the mean VAS pain score among all patients was 0.28±0.45, with a response rate of 100%.

Conclusions: Primary dysmenorrhoea was significantly reduced 1 year after wet needling to MTrPs in the abdominal region and home stretching exercises, justifying further research with controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Acupuncture Points
  • Acupuncture Therapy* / instrumentation
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dysmenorrhea / physiopathology
  • Dysmenorrhea / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigger Points / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult