The effects of premenstrual syndrome vary widely. Occurring from 5-12 days prior to menstruation, you may feel mild effects or debilitating symptoms, depending on where you sit along the spectrum. Dr. Heather Brown of Well Adjusted Chiropractic in Scottsdale, Arizona, provides gentle, contemporary chiropractic adjustments that may ease symptoms and help your body handle this monthly distraction. Call today or book an appointment online.

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by Heather Brown, DC

What is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome is a collection of symptoms, some or all of which may present in the weeks prior to your period. Some symptoms are a warning sign that your period is on its way, though they aren’t evenly distributed among women. For many women, symptoms are minor, such as slight tenderness in your breasts or a food craving.

The PMS label is reserved for those women whose lives may be disrupted by their symptoms, which may be physical, behavioral, or emotional. Once your period starts, however, PMS symptoms stop.

Physical symptoms may include:

  • Bloating and/or cramping
  • Headaches
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Hunger and/or weight gain
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Emotional symptoms of PMS include:

  • Depression
  • Tension or anxiety
  • Mood or sleep disorders
  • Antisocial urges
  • Inability to cope

Some behavioral symptoms of PMS are:

  • Inability to focus mentally
  • Forgetfulness
  • Weariness and fatigue

What causes PMS?

Precise causes aren’t known, though the timing suggests hormones and changes to your body chemistry likely play a role. There are risk factors that may increase your chances of experiencing PMS or having more severe symptoms. Some of these factors include:

  • High levels of stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of sleep
  • Depression
  • Smoking, caffeine, and alcohol consumption
  • Diet high in salt, sugar, or red meat

How does chiropractic care address PMS?

The key principle of chiropractic care aims to restore your body’s balance so that its own healing systems work at an optimum level. This focuses largely on the alignment of the bones of your spine, but other joints, such as where your spine connects with both skull and pelvis, also play a role in proper body balance.

When any of these joints are misaligned, soft tissue, including muscles, cartilage, and ligaments, may suffer strain and inflammation. Nerves within the spinal canal and those that branch off the spinal column may be in contact with other tissue and become irritated. These conditions compromise the body’s ability to communicate between systems, while also affecting efficient blood flow through tissue, a key factor in natural healing.

When these systems are restored to balance, many PMS sufferers find that the severity of symptoms reduces and have, overall, less negative impact on their daily lives.

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