Postural control of women with primary dysmenorrhea in different phases of the menstrual cycle

ABSTRACT Primary dysmenorrhea (PD) is a lower pelvic or abdominal pain related to menstruation that is associated to painful myofascial points, and its presence can alter somatosensory perception and muscle activation, which can affect postural control. This study’s aim was to verify PD’s influence on women’s static postural control in two different phases of the menstrual cycle, with and without pain. 19 university students (22.4±3.0 years-old) with PD were evaluated by visual analog scale, algometry and force plate. The data were submitted to descriptive statistics and had their normality verified (Shapiro-Wilk), the variables were compared using the Student t-test and Wilcoxon test. The assessed group showed pain considered as average (4.1±2.3). The values for pressure pain threshold were lower in the moment with pain than in the moment without pain, in the right abdominal area (p=0.04) and bilateral lumbosacral (p<0.05), indicating a higher local sensitivity. Regarding the postural control, there was a higher range of anteroposterior movement of the center of pressure, both in the open and closed eyes condition, as well as in the average speed and area of the ellipse of the center of pressure in the closed eyes condition during the PD moment. Such changes point out to a stronger need for postural adjustments in the PD, possibly caused by pain interference over proprioception. It was concluded that there was higher pain sensitivity during the cycle’s menstrual phase and that the pain interfered on this group’s postural control, considering that the lack of sight increased these effects.