Chiropractic Care and Menstrual Cycle Pain

Chiropractic Care and Menstrual Cycle Pain


What is your menstrual cycle?

Your menstrual cycle is a hormonal process that your body goes through every month to prepare for a possible pregnancy. The three main processes of the menstrual cycle are ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. The first day of your period is the start of your menstrual cycle. In the first days of your period the uterine lining breaks down and sheds. After the last day of your period the body prepares for ovulation. Your ovaries will produce an egg and your body produces a hormone called estrogen which helps thicken the lining of your uterus with nutrients and blood to provide for the egg in case of pregnancy. The egg will then be released into the Fallopian tube and travel to the uterus. The egg can survive for 12 to 24 hours and during this time if the egg encounters sperm it becomes fertilized. After the egg reaches the womb and is implanted in the wall of the uterine lining, your body begins to produce a hormone called progesterone. This hormone is to make sure your uterus continues to build up its lining. If the egg is NOT fertilized both your levels of estrogen and progesterone will drop since your uterus does not need to keep the nutritious lining built up. Since this nutritious lining is no longer needed it begins to break down and is expelled from your body. This is when your menstruation occurs and when a new cycle begins. As many women know through their own experiences, menstrual cycles can be painful, with a slew of symptoms. With regular visits to Teachout Chiropractic and Wellness Center, Dr. Teachout, or Dr. Malloy may help to lower the symptoms associated with your menstrual cycle.


What are the symptoms with your menstrual cycle?

There are so many symptoms that women experience with their menstruation. Cramping, stomach pain, low back pain, nausea, moodiness, and headaches are just a few of the more common symptoms with menstruation. Unfortunately, no two women are the same and some women have more pain with their menstruation than others, and some have more symptoms than others. If a woman is experiencing physical pain and cramping during her menstrual cycle the technical term for this would be dysmenorrhea. If she is experiencing a combination of physical pain, cramping, and emotional symptoms, it is premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is very similar to PMS but is much more severe. PMDD causes severe irritability, depression, and or anxiety along with the physical pains and cramping in the onset of your menstruation. Some of these symptoms can be helped with chiropractic treatments from Dr. Eric Teachout or Dr. Brian Malloy.


What are menstrual cramps and what causes them?

Menstrual cramps occur when the uterus contracts to expel it’s lining. Prostaglandins, a group of substances that are derived from fatty acids, influence the contractions of the muscles lining many of the internal organs. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more severe menstrual cramps. Severe contractions have the potential to constrict the blood vessels that feed the uterus. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to decrease this pain. Chiropractic adjustments from Teachout Chiropractic and wellness align the vertebra that feed the organs of the pelvis allowing for pain relief and less severe contractions for many sufferers. (JMPT 2008 (March;31 (3): 237-246).


What causes menstrual low back pain?

Similarly to menstrual cramps, when the levels of prostaglandins rise to rid the uterus of its lining, in turn constricting the blood vessels that feed the uterus, cause the contractions that can radiate through the nerves within the pelvic region. This can limit, or cut off, the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles. This can include the low back area. Chiropractic care at Teachout Chiropractic and Wellness can correct misalignments in the thoracolumbar and sacral area, allowing proper function to the organs systems, providing relief.


What causes moodiness and how can chiropractic care help?

It is not 100 percent known what causes mood swings, or moodiness, with menstrual cycles but it has been accepted that hormones have a big part in it. Both the levels of estrogen and progesterone hit rock bottom in the days just prior to each menstrual cycle. Estrogen will often peak during ovulation when is often when we are in our best mood. While these hormones will rise and fall through our menstrual cycle some women will struggle more with mood swings. We also know that when we are in pain and do not feel well we are often not our best selves. It is Dr. Eric Teachout’s and Dr. Brian Malloy’s goal to help with aligning your skeletal structure so that you can be your best self.


Patient Story

We had a patient kind enough to tell her story of how chiropractic care helped her through her menstrual cycles though she wishes to remain anonymous.

“I remember my first few cycles being relatively painless, though my mood swings were out of control. After a few months the pain began to grow, and after just a couple years I would cramp so bad I could hardly walk, radiating from front to back. The pain made me nauseous and often the cramping would either give me diarrhea or constipation. I started to see Dr. Teachout, getting adjusted at the start of my period and this helped significantly with the pain in my low back and eased the intensity of my cramps, and I no longer had the issue of having diarrhea or constipation. I was much less irritable not being in so much pain. Unfortunately, after a few more years the pain began to get worse and I was later diagnosed with endometriosis, which is where the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus attaching to other organ much like a web of scar tissue. I went from working a full-time job to barely being able to work part-time hours. I bleed almost all month long with about two to four days of reprieve. The pain kept me in bed or on the toilet while throwing up during my actual period, and the rest of the month I was still bedridden or dragging myself to work for a four-hour shift. I tried many things and after some trial and error, a higher prescription of birth control to slow the growth of the endometriosis, regular chiropractic care to help manage the pain, and the recommendation from Dr. Teachout to use CBD oil and CBD cream, which has had a huge impact on lowering my pain levels, I now live a relatively painless lifestyle again.” -Anonymous