Complementary pain management in endometriosis: a narrative review


Objective. Endometriosis is a gynecological disease characterized mainly by infertility, chronic pelvic as well by the disability that generates. In 2020, the WHO established that it affects approximately 10% of women and girls of reproductive age worldwide. Multiple surgical and pharmacological treatments have been recommended by different clinical practice guidelines for pain relief. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, electrotherapy, massage, physical exercise, or diet have not been established as strong recommendation. Nevertheless studies demostrated significant decrease in pain that support its use as an adjunct pain managment.
The aim is to understand and expose the contribution of complementary therapies to pain relief in patients with endometriosis.
Methodology. For the study, a search was carried out in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Ovid databases with controlled descriptors in health, filtering 994 articles and including 12.
Results. It was found that medical management for pain relief in patients with endometriosis is the basis of the treatment of this health condition. However, with complementary therapies a decrease in pain was demonstrated. This include: Transcutaneous electrical stimulation, neuromuscular pelvic floor manipulation, complementary alternative medical therapy, acupuncture technique on Ah Shi points, cognitive behavioral therapy, physical activity, diet and physioterapy. Information was found in 16 articles of experimental, observational studies and narrative reviews which support the use of complementary therapy as an adjunct in the management of pelvic pain.
Conclusions. The use of complementary therapies are effective interventions for pain control in patients with endometriosis and should be recommended for pain improvements and quality of life.

Table of Content: Vol. 35 (No. 3) 2023 September

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