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Period Related Back Pain

By March 7, 2023Health News

More than half of women have experienced low back pain during their period. Which may make many of us believe that it is just a normal part of our cycle. However, while periods are healthy and normal, the back pain that comes with it may not have to be.

The technical term for period-related pain is ‘dysmenorrhoea’. This refers, not only to to cramping, but also includes symptoms such as low back pain, headaches, nausea, and fatigue.  This is mostly due to the work of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances made by your uterus that increase around the time you your period starts. Changes in hormone levels at this time have also been shown to influence our ligaments. A research study found that a fluctuation in hormone levels has a direct influence on the level of collagen production, leading to ligamentous laxity and instability. If instability affects the spine and pelvis, it is often accompanied by a degree of back pain. Chiropractic care focuses on the prevention and treatment of back-related pain. Your chiropractor assesses your spine and pelvis to identify areas of dysfunction. Their treatment aims to improve function and stability as well as reduce pain.

Something a lot of people already know about is the use of heat to help manage their pain by increasing blood flow and easing muscle stiffness. But a less thought of tool during this time is exercise. It has been shown to help manage the pain by encouraging prostoglandins to clear out of your system at a faster rate. Another plus side is that exercise increases the production of endorphins and lowers stress, which has a positive effect on your overall feeling of wellbeing.

It should be noted that some women suffer with secondary dysmenorrhoea. This occurs when one’s period pain is due to an underlying reproductive disorder such as endometriosis, fibroids, or sexually transmitted disorders. In these cases, an individual’s symptoms are due to a broader issue which requires appropriate treatment to correct the underlying disorder, rather than just treating the symptoms.

As a health focused practice we aim to empower women to make informed decisions about their health. If we believe you may be suffering from secondary dysmenorrhoea or would benefit from additional assessment and management, we will refer out. We know that working alongside other healthcare professionals will get you the results you are looking for.