Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) affects women before and during their menstrual cycles. Often times they can feel not only pain, but lethargy (feeling sluggish), irritability, pain with urination, cramping, nausea, headaches, and vomiting. Pain typically begins in the lower abdomen and radiates thru to the back and even down the legs for some women. Over 50% of reproductive-age women report a reduced quality of life during their cycles because of menstrual pain. Dysmenorrhea and bladder pain syndrome have both been linked to the autonomic nervous system not functioning properly. Our autonomic nervous system and the reproductive hormones which fluctuate during different phases of the menstrual cycle are directly related.
A 2019 study followed 123 participants with a chief complaint of dysmenorrhea or bladder pain with their cycles. All patients had their heart rate variability (HRV) measured to test how well the autonomic nervous system was functioning. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls and regulates heart rate, breathing, urination, digestion, pupillary responses, and is the primary mechanism that controls our flight-or-flight response. In 100% of these patients in the study, they were found to have a lower or dysfunctioning ANS because of a lower heart rate variability response. When the HRV is high, this means that the autonomic nervous system is functioning properly. So how does the ANS become dysfunctional? There are many factors, but the simplest one can be a subluxation or interference on particular nerves that send signals to the bladder and pelvis. Chiropractic care removes these subluxations with specific adjustments to the spine. This assists the autonomic nervous system and specifically the pelvic splanchnictic nerve (S2, S3, S4) to function freely without interruption and therefore removes pain and discomfort associated with the menstrual cycle. Although hormone regulation is an intricate process that the body takes on daily, we can help alleviate issues by removing interference to the autonomic nervous system with chiropractic care. Our office has seen great success in relief of menstrual pain and bladder control issues with just a few visits for specific, gentle chiropractic care.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Nicholas J. Knutson, DC
MOUNTAIN ISLAND CHIROPRACTIC
10917 Black Dog Ln., Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28214
Tel (704) 394-8556
Fax (704) 395-8556
"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." JV
Oladosu, F. A., Hellman, K. M., Ham, P. J., Kochlefl, L. E., Datta, A., Garrison, E. F....Tu, F. F. (2019). Persistent autonomic dysfunction and bladder sensitivity in primary dysmenorrhea. Scientific Reports, 9(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-38545-3.