Female Issues and Chiropractic

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Chiropractic Research Results for Female Issues

Hold your horses! Before you wade into the Female Issues Section, please read Dr. Nansel & Szlazak's fascinating JMPT article (see below), as it clarifies WHY chiropractic gets such dramatic results with a spectrum of purported diseases and disorders. You'll be glad you did!

Somatic Dysfunction and the Phenomenon of Visceral Disease Simulation:
A Probable Explanation for the Apparent Effectiveness of Somatic Therapy
in Patients Presumed to be Suffering from True Visceral Disease

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1995 (Jul);   18 (6):   379–397 ~ FULL TEXT

The proper differential diagnosis of somatic vs. visceral dysfunction represents a challenge for both the medical and chiropractic physician. The afferent convergence mechanisms, which can create signs and symptoms that are virtually indistinguishable with respect to their somatic vs. visceral etiologies, need to be appreciated by all portal-of-entry health care providers, to insure timely referral of patients to the health specialist appropriate to their condition. Furthermore, it is not unreasonable that this somatic visceral-disease mimicry could very well account for the “cures” of presumed organ disease that have been observed over the years in response to various somatic therapies (e.g., spinal manipulation, acupuncture, Rolfing, Qi Gong, etc.) and may represent a common phenomenon that has led to “holistic” health care claims on the part of such clinical disciplines.

Chiropractic And Infertility
A Chiro.Org article collection

Review articles and abstracts discussing the benefits of Chiropractic care for a variety of female issues, from infertility to endometriosis.

Women's Health
A Chiro.Org article collection

This page contains health links of potential interest to women.

Pre-Eclampsia and the Impact on Chiropractic Management of the Pregnant Patient
Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics 2012 (Dec);   14 (1):   1032–1036 ~ FULL TEXT

Pre-eclampsia (also known as toxemia of pregnancy) is one of the major causes of maternal mortality and morbidity. 10%–15% of maternal deaths are directly associated with pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. [1] Up to 10% of pregnant women develop pre-eclampsia. [2] The incidence of pre-eclampsia in the nulliparous woman is cited as being between 3%–7% and for the multiparous woman 1%–3%. [1, 3] This diagnosis is based on the presence of hypertension, proteinuria, with or without edema. As primary contact health care providers, chiropractors must be aware of the risk factors, clinical signs of pre-eclampsia, and the need to modify their management appropriately.

Endometriosis and the Anterior Coccyx: Observations on 5 Cases
Research Forum 1985 (Summer);   1 (4):   120–122 ~ FULL TEXT

This case review involves five women presenting with medically-diagnosed endometriosis. All five women had been advised that they were surgical candidates. Relief of symptoms is effected by adjusting the anteriorally displaced coccyx. The author suggests a relationship between the displaced coccyx and endometriosis and counsels upon the recognition of same.

Prospective Case Series on the Effects of Lumbosacral Manipulation on Dysmenorrhea
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2008 (Mar);   31 (3):   237–246 ~ FULL TEXT

Menstrual pain associated with primary dysmenorrhea may be alleviated with treatment of motion segment restrictions of the lumbosacral spine with drop table technique.

Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain of Pregnancy:
A Retrospective Case Series

J Midwifery Womens Health 2006 (Jan);   51 (1):   e7–10

Sixteen of 17 (94.1%) cases demonstrated clinically important improvement. The average time to initial clinically important pain relief was 4.5 (range 0–13) days after initial presentation, and the average number of visits undergone up to that point was 1.8 (range 1–5). No adverse effects were reported in any of the 17 cases. The results suggest that chiropractic treatment was safe in these cases and support the hypothesis that it may be effective for reducing pain intensity.

The Frequency of Positive Common Spinal Clinical Examination Findings
in a Sample of Premenstrual Syndrome Sufferers

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999 (May);   22 (4):   216–220 ~ FULL TEXT

A relatively high incidence of spinal dysfunction exists in PMS sufferers compared with a comparable group of non-PMS sufferers. This is suggestive that spinal dysfunction could be a causative factor in PMS and that chiropractic manipulative therapy may offer an alternative therapeutic approach for PMS sufferers.

Chiropractic Approach to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Chiro: The J Chiro Res & Clin Invest 1992;   8 (2):   26–29

Eleven women with histories of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms had occurred regularly for more than four months were evaluated and treated according to a conservative full spine technique. Treatment extended through four menstrual cycles. At the beginning and end of the study period, participants were given questionnaires and interviewed. The responses from both the observer and individual PMS questionnaires were grouped into ten response categories. When the pre- and post-study evaluations were compared, improvements were found in all ten categories.

Association Between Primary Dysmenorrhea and Pain Threshold
at the Thoracolumbar Junction

FCER's International Conference on Spinal Manipulation, 1991;   106–109

Dysmenorrhea is the most common gynecological disorder among females of childbearing age. Primary (essential, idiopathic) dysmenorrhea is painful menstruation in the absence of a gross pathologic condition of the pelvic organs. Secondary dysmenorrhea is painful menstruation occasioned by pelvic organ pathology such as endometriosis [1].

Pain and Prostaglandin Levels in Dysmenorrheic Women Following
Spinal Manipulation

FCER's International Conference on Spinal Manipulation, 1991;   147–149

Thus, the abnormally high prostaglandin levels found in dysmenorrheic women during the first 48 hours of their menstrual cycle are believed to cause increased uterine contractions leading to myometrial ischemia and pain. Although prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors relieve menstrual pain in about 80% of primary dysmenorrhea sufferers, these drugs may have serious side effects. For these reasons, we undertook a small pilot study to investigate the effect of spinal manipulation (SM) on circulating plasma levels of 15–keto- 13, 14-dihydro-prostaglandin (KDPGF2a), a PGF2a metabolite, and the relationship between KDPGF2a levels, pain, measured with a visual analog scale (VAS), and menstrual distress, evaluated with a menstrual distress questionnaire (MDQ).

A Chiropractic Approach to the Treatment of Dysmenorrhea
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1990;   13 (2):   101–6

A patient suffering from dysmenorrhea monitored her monthly menstrual cramps by using pain diaries. She rated her pain levels during 4 months of a baseline phase and 3 months of treatment. The treatment phase consisted of manual chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue therapy. The patient realized fewer episodes of pain as well as lower pain ratings during the treatment phase. There was no significant change in the duration of the menstrual flow.

Vertebral Subluxation and Premenstrual Tension Syndrome:
A Case Study

Research Forum 1986 (Summer);   2 (4):   100–102

A case study of a 28–year-old female with low back pain premenstrual tension syndrome is presented. Both the low back pain and the premenstrual tension syndrome symptoms responded favorably to chiropractic treatment. A mechanism for the etiology of her symptoms is suggested


Other Management Approaches for Female Issues

Menopause Relief Page
A Chiro.Org article collection

This page discusses a variety of approaches to the natural relief for menopause symptoms.

Alternative Medicine Approaches for Female Issues
A Chiro.Org article collection

Review this excellent collection of articles from Alternative Medicine Review.

Cervical Dysplasia: Early Intervention   PDF
Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Mar);   8 (2):   156–170 ~ FULL TEXT

Cervical dysplasia, a premalignant lesion that can progress to cervical cancer, is caused primarily by a sexually transmitted infection with an oncogenic strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Not all women with the virus develop cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. It has been postulated there are multiple host factors that contribute to progression of disease. Many of these factors, such as nutrient deficiencies, can be reversed, which will result in regression of dysplastic lesions. Studies have shown dietary intervention and nutrient supplementation to be effective in preventing cervical cancer.

Hot Flashes - A Review of the Literature on Alternative and Complementary
Treatment Approaches

Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Aug);   8 (3):   284–302 ~ FULL TEXT

Although more definitive research is necessary, several natural therapies show promise in treating hot flashes without the risks associated with conventional therapies. Soy and other phytoestrogens, black cohosh, evening primrose oil, vitamin E, the bioflavonoid hesperidin with vitamin C, ferulic acid, acupuncture treatment, and regular aerobic exercise have been shown effective in treating hot flashes in menopausal women.

Evaluation of the Effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the Management
of Premenstrual Syndrome and Dysmenorrhea
Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Mar);   8 (2):   171–179 ~ FULL TEXT

Neptune Krill Oil can significantly reduce dysmenorrhea and the emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and is shown to be significantly more effective for the complete management of premenstrual symptoms compared to omega-3 fish oil.

Premenstrual Syndrome: Nutritional and Alternative Approaches   PDF
Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Jan);   2 (1):   12–25 ~ FULL TEXT

Since it was first identified in the 1930s, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has presented the clinician with challenges from an etiological as well as treatment perspective. To know the cause is to know the cure. The cause of PMS appears to be a complicated interplay among hormones, neurotransmitters, nutrients and psychosocial factors. To complicate the picture further, the same imbalances are not present in every person suffering from PMS. This article is a review of the literature, citing numerous studies, sometimes with conflicting views, of the etiology and non-drug treatment for premenstrual syndrome. Specific nutrients and botanicals are discussed as they relate to particular neuroendocrine imbalances. In view of the fact that there appears not to be one particular deficiency or excess which can be identified in each case of PMS, the most reliable method of treatment involves a comprehensive approach which includes dietary changes, supplementation of specific nutrients and botanicals, and when indicated, use of identical to natural hormones such as progesterone.

Methionine and Homocysteine Metabolism and the Nutritional Prevention
of Certain Birth Defects and Complications of Pregnancy
Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (Nov);   1 (4):   90–100 ~ FULL TEXT

Defective metabolism of the essential amino acid methionine, resulting in overt hyperhomocysteinemia or situational hyperhomocysteinemia (after a methionine load), has been established as an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic heart disease. Nutrients involved in the pathways of homocysteine degradation, including folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 all have a connection to negative pregnancy outcomes, which may be related to their impact on homocysteine. Dietary intake and metabolism of folic acid, the nutrient most closely identified with neural tube defects, has been studied in depth for the past fifteen years. The information from these studies has illuminated the mechanisms of these congenital defects, and has lead to the discovery of connections with other nutrients related to homocysteine metabolism which may also be involved in negative pregnancy outcomes, including spontaneous abortion, placental abruption (infarct), pre-term delivery, and low infant birth weight.




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