PMS and Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Care Alleviate Your PMS Symptoms?

Like clockwork every month, a majority of women experience bloating, breast tenderness, become a little moody, and have headaches and muscle aches a few days before they start their menstrual periods. These are normal premenstrual symptoms. But what if the physical aches and emotional angst you experience in the 1-2 weeks before your period are a total disruption to your life? If that’s the case, what you are experiencing is called Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).

You may have tried any number of over-the-counter or prescription medications to ease your PMS discomfort only to find that you just barely get through that “time of the month.” Did you know chiropractic care can be an effective, drug-free way to help alleviate PMS symptoms?

Quick Facts about Premenstrual Syndrome

For about 90% of menstruating women, PMS is just a monthly nag. But about 10-20% of women report their symptoms interfere with their usual routines at work, home, and school.

PMS affects a woman’s physical health and emotional well-being. Physical symptoms of PMS can include: fatigue, insomnia, changes in sex drive, acne, cramps, bloating, weight gain, headaches, breast tenderness, swelling in the hands and feet, nausea and dizziness. Emotional symptoms make many women feel like they’re on a roller coaster that doesn’t stop running. They can experience bouts of irritability, sadness, frustration, anxiety, confusion, forgetfulness, and food cravings. If a group of PMS symptoms are severe enough and persist in a pattern, the condition is labeled as PMDD, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

PMS can be made worse by a number of factors, including stress, lack of exercise, a poor diet, and misalignments in the spine known as subluxations –and that’s where chiropractic care can help.

Chiropractic Care for PMS

Your nervous system makes sure every system of your body is working efficiently to maintain your well-being. Women with PMS symptoms experience more muscle tenderness in the low back, muscle weakness, and changes in spinal alignment. When your spine is not in alignment, the nerves that exit the lower back can become irritated, which can impair communication with your reproductive and hormonal systems. Alleviating any pressure or irritation to these nerves, through alignment of the spine, can be a great relief for a woman experiencing PMS symptoms during her monthly cycle.

While chiropractic care isn’t a cure for PMS, a few studies have indicated that many women experiencing PMS also have spinal distortions. These women experienced improvement in their physical and emotional symptoms while under chiropractic care. For example, patients, and the chiropractic doctors caring for them, reported a decline in PMS symptoms including back pain, bloating, cramping, and fatigue. The research suggests that chiropractic treatment can help decrease some of the symptoms of PMS without the potential side effects of medications.

Can Chiropractic Care Improve Your PMS Symptoms?

If you are experiencing pre-menstrual symptoms that interfere with your routines at home, work, or school, or negatively affect important relationships, contact Dr. Jeff Snyder for a complete chiropractic assessment.


PMS or PMDD: What’s the Difference? Mayo Clinic

Ransom S, Moldenhauer J. Premenstrual syndrome: systematic diagnosis and individualized therapy. Physician and Sportsmedicine, April 1998;26(4), pp35-43.

Walsh MJ, Polus BI. The frequency of positive common clinical examination findings in a sample of premenstrual syndrome sufferers. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 1999:22(4), pp216-220.*

Walsh MJ, Polus BI. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstrual syndrome. Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics, Nov/Dec 1999:22(9), pp582-85.**

* The authors of this study indicated the potential for researcher bias exists because of lack opatients, and the chiropractic doctors caring for them, reported a decline in PMS symptoms including back pain, bloating, cramping, and fatiguef blind-study protocol. *

** The authors of this study suggested further investigation because the group receiving the placebo first, although improving compared with baseline scores, showed no further improvement after receiving actual treatment. Also, a large number of patients dropped out of the trial due to the length of the study (nine months).**

Additional Resources:

PubMed List clinical trials of PMS and Chiro.

PMS, PMDD, Female Athlete Triad Chiro Resource