Do you suffer from period pain? Although it may be common for women to experience some pain before or during their menstrual cycle, excessive pain is considered abnormal.
Dysmenorrhoea is the term used to describe severe period pain that may interfere with daily life – divided into primary and secondary dysmenorrhea.
Primary dysmenorrhea refers to period pain without underlying pathology, while secondary dysmenorrhea refers to
period pain with an underlying pathology – including gynaecological disorders including endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
Dysmenorrhea can occur in up to 50 per cent of women and is considered quite common.
Period pain symptoms may include abdominal cramping, low back pain, leg pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, bloating, irritability, constipation or diarrhoea.
Dr Joanna Hilbert from Sequence Osteopathy said osteopathic treatment may help address musculoskeletal restrictions throughout the body.
“Osteopaths treat the structural imbalances to improve the functioning of the body to remove congestion and improve blood supply and drainage in and out of the pelvis. Specifically, in the pelvis, lower back, diaphragm and pelvic floor,” Dr Hilbert said.
Recurring period pain can often have long-term social implications in daily life including reduced time at school or work.
“Cramping in primary dysmenorrhoea is most commonly due to the uterus producing an excess of a chemical called prostaglandin, this chemical causes the muscles of the uterus to tighten or contract giving the symptom of cramping,” Dr Hilbert said.
“Pelvic congestion can also cause pain during the menstrual cycle thought to be caused by the constriction of blood supply to the endometrial tissue when the muscles of the uterus contract.
“Osteopathic treatment can help improve blood flow to the uterus by ensuring the diaphragm muscle is functioning optimally. The diaphragm plays a key role in proper arterial and venous function in the body, and is also responsible for the mobility of pelvic organs associated with inhalation and exhalation.”
Osteopathic treatment focuses manual techniques to improve lymphatic/venous drainage away from the pelvis, helping to relieve pelvic congestion.
“This is achieved by ensuring good mechanics of the diaphragm, sacroiliac joints, hips, sacrum, lumbar spine, thoracic spine, ribs and pelvic floor.”
An Osteopath can also help ensure balance of the nervous system to pelvic organs.
It is important to address any lifestyle factors that may be contributing to increased muscular spasms, including dietary deficiencies or daily stress.
You don’t need to just ‘put up’ with period pain, your osteopath may ease your symptoms with manual treatment and also assist with providing general exercise and stretching programs and stress management to help you regain control of your health and wellbeing.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering with period pain we encourage you to give Sequence Osteopathy a call on 5261 5766 or book online at sequenceosteo.com.au with one of their experienced osteopaths. Follow them on Instagram @sequenceosteo.