Effectiveness of a treadmill-based aerobic exercise intervention on pain, daily functioning, and quality of life in women with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled trial

Priya Kannan (Corresponding Author), Cathy M. Chapple, Dawn Miller, Leica Claydon-Mueller, G. David Baxter

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a treadmill-based aerobic exercise intervention on pain and associated symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea. Methods: Seventy women with primary dysmenorrhea were included in the study. The experimental group underwent supervised aerobic training for 4 weeks followed by unsupervised home exercise for the next 6 months. The control group continued usual care. The primary outcome was pain. Secondary outcomes included quality of life (QoL), daily functioning, and sleep. Results: After the 4-week training, compared to the control group exercise significantly improved primary outcomes pain quality (mean difference (MD)-1.9, 95% CI 3.8 to −0.04, p <.05), and intensity (MD -4.7, 95% CI -9.3 to −0.09, p <.05), but not present pain. Significant effects were also reported for pain interference (MD -1.7, 95% CI -3.4 to −0.02, p <.05)at 4 weeks; the other outcomes did not significantly differ between groups at this time. During the follow-up period of 7-months, the effect on pain improved to 22 mm (95% CI 18 to 25). Significant benefits of exercise were maintained up to 7-months for present pain, QoL and daily functioning. Conclusion: Exercise has significant effects on primary dysmenorrhea-related pain, QoL and function. Trial registration: ACTRN12613001195741.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Exercise
  • Pain
  • Quality of life
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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