Exercise, Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture
Too much rest is rust.
Sir Walter Scott
Aerobic conditioning exercise is a key ingredient for both a long, healthy life and fewer menstrual difficulties. It helps us adapt to stress. We sleep better when we get adequate exercise daily. Aerobic activities stimulate our bodies to be more adaptive to stressors and more resilient. It normalizes body physiology. At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times per week is essential. These exercise bouts should be maintained at an intensity to keep us in an aerobic training zone equal to 220 minus your age, times .6 to .75. Non-impact aerobics is preferable such as swimming, cycling, x-country skiing, stair climbing, brisk walking or rowing. For women over forty or for those with significant health or weight problems it is advisable to get more detailed exercise recommendations from your doctor.
Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.
Many women have significant lower back discomfort at various times in their cycle. Sometimes this is due to uterine cramping and sometimes it is due to a mechanical back disorder. The muscles of the lower back can be strained and excessively tight or there can be joint and nerve irritations because of spinal movement abnormalities. Sometimes there can even be spinal discs that are strained and bulging. This disturbed back function can greatly increase some of the symptoms of PMS through a somato-visceral reflex. Chiropractic spinal manipulation is one of the most powerful and dramatic healing agents for PMS. It seems most appropriate for women who have back pain or uterine cramping as an obvious part of their symptom complex. But since so many spinal abnormalities can disturb internal organ function it is good advice that all women suffering from PMS be examined by a chiropractor to identify any hidden problems which may be easily correctable with some gentle manipulation. A short therapeutic trial is often reasonable. Results are usually seen after several months.
Acupuncture has been found to be helpful in relieving some of the symptoms of PMS. Make sure that you first follow the self care measures. It is unwise and usually unsuccessful to rely on an external treatment modality such as acupuncture while not fully participating in the valuable, self-care, health enhancement strategies designed to improve body-mind function.
Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques by Carolyn Kisner and Lyn Colby
An excellent site for support for your fitness needs: Shape-up
Use the phone book to find a qualified acupuncturist. Each state has different laws governing the practice of acupuncture. Often, I prefer to go with the most experienced clinician I can find who uses traditional diagnostic and treatment modalities but also integrates new modes of practice such as non-needle electrical stimulation or laser.
Begin or refine an aerobic training program. It often helps to recruit a few exercise buddies to help with consistency. It can be as simple as scheduled brisk walks before breakfast, in the park at lunch time, or in the evening. Or it can be as elaborate as a diversified program at a health club with fitness trainer supervision with different equipment on different days.
Make an appointment at our office (566-7396) for a chiropractic evaluation if this seems appropriate for your symptoms and circumstances.