Microwave diathermy treatment for primary dysmenorrhea

April R. Vance, Sherrill H. Hayes, Neil I. Spielholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This case report documents the use of microwave diathermy in a 31-year- old woman who had primary dysmenorrhea since menarche began at age 13 years. For 18 years, she had severe monthly pain, frequently resulting in emergency department admissions and 1 to 3 days lost from work. Conventional treatments, including pain-relieving drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, superficial heat, and oral contraceptives, had all been unsuccessful in relieving or abating the intense and debilitating pain. Microwave diathermy (45 W total power) was administered for 20 minutes each month on the day symptoms began (usually the first day of menstruation). Over a 7-month interval, diathermy was followed by almost-immediate and long- lasting relief of symptoms. During the 7 months of treatment, the patient lost no workdays due to severe pain. This case demonstrates the potential use of microwave diathermy as an effective treatment for women with this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1008
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Diathermy
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Physical therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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