Do You Suffer From This Common And Preventable Menstrual Symptom?

by
Dr. Ariel Thorpe

A lot of women know they suffer from premenstrual syndrome, but do you actually know what it is? Anything labeled a syndrome is simply a collection of symptoms. So what symptoms are included in premenstrual syndrome? Commonly, menstruating people experience pain, cramping, heavy bleeding, and mood swings. However, are these PMS symptoms normal? Remember that "common" does not mean "normal." Normal bodily function does not have to mean regularly experiencing painful symptoms. Often, symptoms are our bodies' way of communicating to us that something is not functioning correctly and that we need to make a change. PMS symptoms are no exception.

When people go to the chiropractor for care, they expect the chiropractor to look for areas of joint misalignments, soft tissue damage, inflammation, and muscle spasm. These components may indicate a subluxation in the spine, which leads to improper function of a spinal joint, and thus the nerves connected to that joint, which are the input and output of the central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord). So, what do subluxations have to do with PMS symptoms?

If you break down the individual symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, think of the positioning of the joints of the low back and pelvis. The soft tissue that connects the low back to the pelvis can pull more on one side versus the other, causing the bones to be slightly misaligned from their most easeful locations. That is a joint misalignment. There can be scar tissue built up in those areas of the low back and pelvis. This soft tissue damage can affect the nerves and blood vessels in the area. The bloating sensation that occurs with premenstrual syndrome is an excess of prostaglandins in the lower trunk, which create inflammation. Prostaglandins are a necessary part of menstruation, as they help in the shedding of the uterine lining. They are also the culprit behind diarrhea in association with menstruation, as these chemicals affect multiple tissues and organs in the lower torso when released. Finally, the cramping sensation is due to muscle contraction in the pelvis around the uterus. Again, it is a necessary component of menstruation, as contractions are needed to get the uterus moving and the tissue to shed. However, a muscle contraction need not be excessively painful. We contract and relax our muscles all day long just to go about regular daily activities.

These symptoms of the subluxation and premenstrual syndrome look strikingly familiar, right? So, it could be a good idea to get checked by a chiropractor for subluxations. My recommendation to clients is often to get checked leading up to their period to help mitigate as many of the PMS symptoms as possible.

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