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Can Chiropractic Help Relieve PMS?

Headache, backache, abdominal bloating, cramping, fatigue and mood swings are just some of the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Most women suffer some symptoms of PMS during their childbearing years, but between 10-20% experience severe or disabling symptoms.

Drugs, vitamin supplements and psychotherapy have proven ineffective or undesirable treatment options, with many patients reporting unpleasant side effects and only minimal relief of symptoms.

Previous research has suggested the potential benefit of chiropractic care (see "Chiropractic for PMS" in the August 1999 issue of To Your Health), and a recent study provides further evidence of this association.

In a nine-month clinical trial involving 25 women with diagnosed PMS, 16 patients received active chiropractic treatment (spinal manipulation and soft-tissue therapy) 2-3 times in the week before menses for at least three menstrual cycles. The remaining nine patients received a placebo in the form of chiropractic "adjustments," using an instrument set for minimum force, such that patients did not effectively receive treatment.

The two groups eventually changed over, so that both groups received treatment and placebo during the study period. In both groups, results showed that PMS symptom scores decreased after chiropractic manipulation, with a significant decrease in scores for the active treatment phase compared to the nontreatment (placebo) phase.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic and find out more about the benefits of chiropractic care and its potential role in relieving your PMS symptoms.


Walsh MJ, Polus BI. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstrual syndrome. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Nov/Dec 1999: Vol. 22, No. 9, pp582-85.

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