Efficacy of Non-thermal Ultrasound in the Management of Breast Engorgement in Post-partum Women: A randomized controlled trial
Breast engorgement is one of the main reasons why women throughout the world stop or reduce the duration of breast feeding. The objective of the study, was to determine the efficacy of non-thermal ultrasound in the management of breast engorgement. Fifty-two postpartum women with breast engorgement were included in the study and were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group of 26 participants each. Pain and breast engorgement were assessed using the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the six-point engorgement scale (SPES), pre- and post-intervention in both groups. The experimental group received non-thermal therapeutic ultrasound therapy along with conventional treatment interventions for two days while the control group only received conventional treatment for two days. The control group received massage, advice on proper latching technique and the use of bra. Results indicate a significant (P<0.05) difference in symptoms of breast engorgement between pre-intervention and post-intervention in both groups, with greater reduction in symptoms in the experimental group. Also, a maximum of two days was found to be effective in the management of breast engorgement in the experimental group. The use of therapeutic non-thermal ultrasound for 3 treatment sessions in two successive days was effective in the management of breast engorgement and is recommended for use in physiotherapy clinical settings.
KEY WORDS: breast engorgement, non-thermal ultrasound, postpartum, pain