While most women are familiar with the abdominal cramps, PMS, and headaches that go along with their monthly cycle, not nearly as many are aware that the painful backache you suffer (sometimes before and/or after your monthly cycle)is not only a symptom of PMS, but that this problem can be almost entirely eliminated.
One study out of the UK found that 88 percent of women stated that frequently missed at least one day of work each month due to the pain from their monthly cycle.
There is no denying that most women will go directly to over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, these can come with a heavy price. In one study, the regular use of NSAIDS (such as ibuprofen) found that it can often lead to stomach problems, including bleeding ulcers, fluid retention, high blood pressure, and kidney and heart problems.
Why Do You Have Back Pain During Period?
When your uterus is contracting, the nerves around the entire pelvic region can feel this. Sometimes, the uterus presses on blood vessels in the area, limiting or even cutting off completely, the blood vessels to the muscles in this area. This is one major reason why you have back pain during your period.
Of course, the uterus only contracts for a few seconds. Repeatedly. For hours on end. If you are nodding your head right now, then you understand the problem. This phenomenon is called “referred pain”, which means you are feeling the pain in one area (the lower back) but the pain is being caused by another area (the uterus). This can cause cramping and lower back pain after your period, during your period, or even before your period.
Don’t be afraid to tell your gynecologist about this. If your cramps and back pain, however, is so debilitating or if they seem to have become much worse over a period of time, it could mean that you are suffering from fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection, or endometriosis. If you are experiencing fever along with back pain, you need to seek professional help as soon as possible.
There are several methods you can use to try to stop, or at the very least limit, back pain during your monthly cycle. Here are 5 tips you can follow to best avoid back pain during your period:
Tip #1: Apply Heat.
This can mean heating pads, a hot water bottle, warm baths, or showers. Since heat brings increased circulation, any blood vessels that are being abused by your uterus should have improved blood flow, and muscles surrounding the uterus should relax. You can’t always pop into a hot bath at work, but many drug stores sell small heat patches with adhesive tape that holds the patch in place. These can be used on the lower abdomen or the lower back, providing you with heat for hours. One of the easiest and best ways to alleviate back pain is a simple, old-fashioned hot water bottle.
Tip #2: Do Light Exercises.
Don’t frown at this one. Yes, you’ve probably heard this before and wondered how you were going to exercise when you can’t even stand up straight, but most doctors are referring to exercise throughout the month, not just when you are on your period. Some women find that doing very light exercise, such as yoga or swimming, helps to decrease back pain even if they are on the first or second day of their cycle ( which is for many women, the heaviest and most painful days).
Don’t be tempted to lie in bed because your mattress might be another cause of back pain in addition to your monthly cycle. What mattress do chiropractors recommend for back pain? Find here.
Tip #3: Meditate.
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Meditation is a type of control over your feelings about certain situations. You will note that you are on your period, but the pain isn’t part of the equation. It takes some practice, but you would be amazed at how much you can reduce your pain with a simple 15- minute meditation session. One study found that even after just 30 days, meditation greatly reduced the PMS symptoms compared to the control group.
Tip #4: Try Supplements.
Try consuming omega 3 and magnesium supplements every day of the month. Omega 3s are known to reduce blood clotting and improve circulation. These are natural anti-inflammatories that also decrease prostaglandin production, which is related to backaches and cramps. Magnesium supplements, especially those with vitamin B6, can also ease back pain, both before and after your period. One study found that women who took 250 mg of magnesium supplements, along with 40mgs of vitamin B6, had fewer symptoms, including back pain. If you prefer to eat your magnesium, choose more beans, beets, shrimp, and salmon.
Tip #5: Visit Your Chiropractor.
Your uterus, like every organ in your body, must send and receive a proper supply of nerve signals, from the brain to the uterus, and back again. Your monthly cycle has a very close relationship with the spine, due to its location. Regular chiropractic care can ensure that there is effective communication between the brain and your uterus (as well as all other organs). One study found that regular chiropractic care, for one woman who suffered from uterine adenomyosis, helped to ease her pain considerably over a four-month time frame, while another study found that, in addition to a healthier diet, chiropractic care was effective for the management of cramps and low back pain. Seeing a chiropractor for back pain is the right step toward stopping the pain and healing the body.
If you are using alcohol to numb the pain, you should know that lower back pain after drinking is also a thing, so you should not use alcohol as a means of fighting period-related back pain.
Seeking help with PMS or back pain during your menstrual cycle? Contact the experts here at Better Health Alaska. We have 2 clinics (Better Health Chiropractic Anchorage and Better Health Chiropractic Juneau) to serve you and can set up an appointment on the same day that you call or request an appointment through our website forms.
At Better Health Alaska, we don’t want to see anyone living their life in pain. Take the first step on the road towards the pain-free life that you deserve and call today for your appointment.
If you’re a woman and you’ve been experiencing heavy periods, consider making regular chiropractic care a habit– it can help those who suffer from menstrual problems. Reproductive organs depend on healthy nerve signals coming from a person’s lower spinal column. If there’s a blockage in there, somewhere, a woman can experience pain, cramps, and heavy bleeding. A chiropractor can put the lower spine back into its proper alignment, relieving the pressure on the nerves going to a woman’s reproductive organs. This, in turn, helps take away menstrual pain and the often-associated lower back pain, too, during the “time of the month.” Regular chiropractic care has worked wonders for many women.