Comparison of the Effect of Topical Application of Rosemary and Menthol for Musculoskeletal Pain in Hemodialysis Patients

Sekine Keshavarzian, Nahid Shahgholian


Background: Pain is the most common problem experienced by hemodialysis patients, especially musculoskeletal pain in lower extremities, which is usually not completely treated and adversely affects their quality of life. The present study was conducted with the aim to determine and compare the effects of topical application of menthol and rosemary for musculoskeletal pain in hemodialysis patients.

Materials and Methods: The present single‑blind clinical trial recruited 105 eligible patients undergoing hemodialysis in selected hospitals affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Sciences; patients were selected by convenient sampling.  articipants’ severity of pain was determined prior to intervention. They were then randomly divided into rosemary, menthol, and placebo groups. All three groups applied medication on the site of pain on their legs three times a day for three days and recorded the severity of pain four hours after morning and afternoon applications. The statistical analysis of data was performed using SPSS 18.

Results: The mean score of severity of pain before the intervention was not significantly different among the three groups (p = 0.83), but it became significantly different after intervention (p = 0.001). Significant differences were observed in mean severity of pain before and after intervention in rosemary and menthol groups (p < 0.001), but not in the placebo group (p = 0.21). Conclusions: Topical application of menthol and rosemary can alleviate severity and frequency of recurrence of musculoskeletal pain in hemodialysis patients; however, according to the results of the study, none had precedence over the other.


Hemodialysis; Iran; menthol; pain; rosemary

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