Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Original Article

Effects of cold versus hot compress on pain in university students with primary dysmenorrhea

Efeitos da compressa fria versus quente sobre a dor em universitárias com dismenorreia primária

Gyan Karla Advíncola dos-Santos; Natália Cristina de Oliveira Vargas e Silva; Fábio Marcon Alfieri

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Dysmenorrhea is the most common gynecological complaint among young women. Several therapeutic resources have been studied, aiming at reducing pain. The objective of this study was to identify the influence of cold or hot compresses on pain intensity and pressure pain tolerance thresholds in women with primary dysmenorrhea.

METHODS: A single-blind randomized clinical study involving 40 young women divided into two groups: hot compress or cold compress, applied for 20 minutes on the lower abdomen and lower back regions. Pressure pain tolerance thresholds were evaluated by algometry in the vastus medialis, gluteus maximus, lumbar paravertebral muscles and supraspinatus ligaments L4-L5 and L5-S1. Pain intensity was assessed by the visual analog scale.

RESULTS: No significant changes in pressure pain tolerance thresholds were observed immediately after the application of the compresses, nor 30 minutes later. The comparison of the variation in the effect of changes showed no differences between the intervention groups, either regarding the pressure pain tolerance thresholds or the visual analog scale. However, both groups had a significant reduction in the visual analog scale right after the application and 30 minutes after the end of the intervention. Nevertheless, right after the use of the compresses, as well as 30 minutes after its end, the group that received the cold compress had a more significant reduction in pain intensity (p=0.002 and p=0.004, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Cold or hot compresses did not produce changes in pressure pain tolerance thresholds. However, pain perception was lower after this treatment, especially in the group using cold compresses.


Dysmenorrhea, Pain measurement, Physical therapy modalities


JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: A dismenorreia é a queixa ginecológica mais comum em mulheres jovens, e diversos recursos terapêuticos visando a redução da dor vêm sendo testados. O objetivo deste estudo foi verificar a influência de compressas frias ou quentes sobre a intensidade da dor e o limiar de tolerância de dor à pressão em mulheres com dismenorreia primária.

MÉTODOS: Estudo clínico randomizado simples encoberto envolvendo 40 jovens divididas em dois grupos: compressa quente ou compressa fria, aplicadas por 20 minutos nas regiões do abdômen inferior e lombar. O limiar de tolerância de dor à pressão foi avaliado por algometria nos músculos vasto medial, glúteo máximo, paravertebrais lombares e ligamentos L4-L5 e L5-S1. A intensidade da dor foi avaliada pela escala analógica visual.

RESULTADOS: Não foram observadas alterações significantes imediatamente após a aplicação das compressas, nem tampouco 30 minutos após a aplicação no que concerne aos limiares de tolerância de dor à pressão. A comparação da variação do efeito das intervenções não revelou diferenças entre os grupos de intervenção, tanto em relação aos limiares de tolerância de dor à pressão, quanto em relação à escala analógica visual. Entretanto, ambos os grupos apresentaram redução significante na escala analógica visual logo após a aplicação e depois de 30 minutos do término em relação ao momento anterior à intervenção. Apesar disso, logo após a aplicação da compressa, bem como 30 minutos após o término, o grupo que usou compressa fria exibiu maior redução da intensidade da dor (p=0,002 e p=0,004, respectivamente).

CONCLUSÃO: Compressas frias ou quentes não provocaram alterações no limiar de tolerância de dor à pressão, porém, a percepção da dor foi menor após a aplicação do tratamento, especialmente no grupo que fez uso da compressa fria.


Dismenorreia, Mensuração da dor, Modalidades de fisioterapia


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