Aunt Flo vs. Chiropractic
Dr. Josh has tasked me with blogging about the various questions patients bring to me instead of the doctors. Out of all of the questions you have asked me questions about periods ranks #1. So here we go!
Every month, hopefully like clockwork our period pays us a visit. It comes regardless of what we have going on and not always at the same time, not always the same way, and not always with the same level of the dreaded cramps. As women, most of us suffer from a heavy flow, insane cramping, an unpredictable schedule, endometriosis or PCOS. Don’t forget about the emotional and hormonal changes during this time! Up to 90% of women experience dysmenorrhea which is the physical pain and cramping during our cycle (1) and 75-85% of us experience some form of PMS or the emotional symptoms which also includes PMDD (2).
Chiropractic Care for PMS
Guess what?!?! Chiropractic adjustments along with ART (active release technique) can help...A LOT! First off, if the nerves which run from the brain to the reproductive organs are being compressed than those organs are not going to work correctly. Proper chiropractic adjustments will ensure there is effective communication between your brain and your reproductive organs which will decrease the chances of painful menstrual cycles.
A study was done using the drop-table method of adjusting. During the study 13 women who reported having symptoms of dysmenorrhea went through 3 treatments over 2 menstrual cycles. Focus was on adjusting subluxations in the lumbosacral (lower back). The majority of women reported a significant decrease in general back and abdominal pain.(3) A second study was done to see if a reduction in PMS symptoms could be achieved. Doctors divided a group of 25 women into 2 groups. One group received adjustments 2-3 times per week before their periods started for a total of 3 cycles. The other group received faux adjustments for the same rate of time. The 2 groups were then switched so that both groups did receive treatment. In both groups it was reported that the women noticed significant changes for the better following the treatment. (4)
Many of our female patients have heard me talk about “the angry ovary adjustment.” What this is is actually ART performed on the round ligament of the uterus and the outside of the uterus. When I talked to Dr. Matthew Fink about how and why this works he told me that “putting that little bit of outside force on the round ligaments and the uterus promotes shedding of the lining and calms down the symptoms of dysmenorrhea.”
So when our female patients come to me or mention it in passing I always advocate on the side of a natural way to help with symptoms of the dreaded period. Chiropractic, in my experience, and the experience of many of our patients, is one of the best treatments during “that time of the month.” I also highly recommend a good supply of chocolate!
For any of you men who stuck around for the whole blog, if your girlfriend or wife suffers badly during their menstrual cycles, please talk to them, show them this blog and send them in to talk to me.
- Milsom I, Minic M, Dawood MY, Akin MD, Spann J, Niland NF, Squire RA. Comparison of the efficacy and safety of nonprescription doses of naproxen and naproxen sodium with ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and placebo in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: a pooled analysis of five studies – Clinical Therapeutics 2002 Sep; 24(9): 1384-1400.
- Limosin F & Ades J. [Psychiatric and psychological aspects of premenstrual syndrome] [French] – Encephale 2001 Nov-Dec; 27(6): 501-8
- Holtzman DA, Petrocco-Napuli KL, Burke JR. Prospective case series on the effects of lumbosacral manipulation on dysmenorrhea – J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2008 Mar; 31(3): 237-246.
- Walsh MJ, Polus BI – A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstrual syndrome. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999 Nov-Dec; 22(9): 582-585.