Three out of every four American women report symptoms of PMS, and many women experience discomfort during menopause. Symptoms like bloating, cramps, mood swings, and appetite changes can interfere with daily life. Mild symptoms from hormonal changes may be normal, but symptoms that interfere with work, sleep, and daily activities can signify something is out of balance.
Many women have had the discouraging experience of telling their symptoms to their doctor only to be told that nothing can be done or that birth control is the only option. The truth is that chiropractic care has been shown to minimize symptoms of PMS and menopause safely.
Here’s how chiropractic care can improve women’s health across all stages of life:
Reduce Symptoms of PMS
The vertebrae of our spine house and protect our spinal cord–the main highway for nerve activity in our bodies. The C1 vertebra is the first bone in your spine, right under your skull. The nerves housed within it control blood flow to the brain and pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is responsible for much of the hormonal signaling that goes on in your body. It secretes follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, luteinizing hormone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone, among others. Subluxations in the C1 vertebrae can cause hormone imbalances by reducing blood flow to this vital part of the brain.
On the other end of your spinal column are the vertebrae that house nerves that send signals to your reproductive organs and intestines. Suppose this part of your spine is out of alignment. In that case, you may notice an increase in abdominal cramping during your period and more problems with constipation, diarrhea, or bloating even when you’re not on your period. There are some indications that IBS– a condition that affects mostly women, may be caused or aggravated by subluxations in the lower part of the spine.
When you visit a chiropractor for hormonal imbalance symptoms, he or she may take X-rays to see if there are any significant problems with spinal curvature. Or they may do a physical exam and an adjustment to see what vertebrae feel out of alignment. Your chiropractor may recommend a maintenance schedule of visits to keep your vertebrae in alignment and your nervous system functioning optimally. He or she may also ask about your eating habits and recommend foods or supplements to improve your nutrition. They may help you improve your posture to prevent causing more damage to your spine.
A Healthier Pregnancy
The uterus sits within the pelvic bone structure. Some women have a tilted pelvis. This can be caused by a leg length difference that has never been treated or by injuries or posture problems. Women often don’t know they have a tilted pelvis until after they become pregnant. A pelvic tilt can sometimes cause problems during pregnancy and delivery by restricting the babies growing space in the uterus or making it difficult for the infant to turn to a head-down birthing position.
Licensed chiropractors are specially trained to adjust pregnant women. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe and can improve health and delivery outcomes for both mother and baby. Adjusting the lower spine, hips, and pelvic area can improve back pain and give the baby a healthier space to develop. Special techniques like the Webster method have been clinically proven to correct breech positioning during the last days of pregnancy.
Even women who don’t have a tilted pelvis can benefit from chiropractic adjustment during pregnancy. As your body adjusts to carrying more weight, regular chiropractic care can relieve pain and discomfort. There is also evidence that chiropractic adjustment can reduce other uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy like nausea and constipation.
Relief During Menopause
“The Change” is a time that many women dread, thinking that years of miserable symptoms are inevitable. Fortunately, this is not the case. Studies have shown that chiropractic care can greatly reduce discomfort during menopause. It works for menopause for the same reasons it works for PMS. The nerves that regulate the reproductive system and the parts of the brain that produce hormones can become inflamed or impaired by spinal subluxations. Correcting these subluxations improves nerve function, which in turn improves hormonal balance. We can’t promise that you’ll never have a hot flash again, but debilitating symptoms can be improved so that they no longer interfere with your daily life.
Chiropractors tend to take a holistic view of hormonal problems. In addition to providing spinal adjustments, your chiropractor may also recommend nutritional supplements, dietary changes, and exercises you can do at home. Better hormonal balance can help you feel better and reduce your risk of osteoporosis and other hormone-related problems.
Prevention of Age-Related Spinal Problems
Both men and women are at risk for age-related musculoskeletal problems. “Age-related” is actually a misnomer. It would be more accurate to say that these problems tend to show up in older adults after years of wear and tear have built up. People who receive chiropractic care regularly across their lifespan can correct minor problems before they become obvious and debilitating. It is possible to be straight-backed and strong well into your later years.
Some types of spinal degeneration affect women more often than men. Kyphosis, a hunched forward or humped upper back, sometimes referred to as a “dowagers hump,” is fairly common in older women. It can be caused by many things, including posture, arthritis, hormonal diseases, and scoliosis. Regular adjustments can prevent Kyphosis or keep it from becoming severe. When it does become severe, Kyphosis can cause breathing problems and back pain.
Regular adjustment of the spine, together with core strengthening exercises, can improve balance and prevent falls in older adults. This is one of the most important things that people over middle age should focus on, as falls are a major cause of death and disability in older adults. Starting early is best, but older people who already have balance problems can also benefit from chiropractic care.
At Stanlick Chiropractic, we believe that chiropractic adjustment together with a healthy lifestyle can help women achieve optimal health. We know your symptoms are real and that they can be treated. Give us a call today to schedule a hormone balance consultation with our chiropractors in the Murfreesboro area.