Dysmenorrhea and Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS) Treatment with Chiropractic Care & Craniosacral Therapy in New York City

For some women the menstrual cycle can also be a very painful time – both physically and emotionally.  When a woman feels physical pain and cramping during her menstrual cycle, dysmenorrhea is generally the diagnosis.  When a woman feels a combination of physical and emotional symptoms prior to the onset of menses, then she has pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is commonly the diagnosis. Approximately  90% of women cope with some form of dysmenorrhea, and another 75% – 85% of women experience various degrees of PMS during their lifetime. Common symptoms are moderate to severe lower abdominal cramping coupled with lower back pain either before or during menstruation. 

Fortunately women who have had to cope with PMS, bladder pain, bowel cramps; sexual dysfunctions, including infertility, have learned of the natural benefits of chiropractic and craniosacral therapy.  The spine protects the nerve system that controls the reproductive system and endocrine system (hormones), which is vital for optimal function. If there is nerve interference or what is called a “subluxation”  affecting the relationship between the spine and nerve system, this can impact on the function of the organs. Through various treatments Chiropractors and Craniosacral Therapists remove the nerve interference which in-turn restores the optimal function to a woman’s reproductive system. 

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects women most noticeably in their late 20’s to early 40’s, and 10-20% of women report severe or even disabling pain characterized by sharp pain along with headaches, nausea, lower back pain and digestive complications. PMS is thought to be a side effect from hormonal changes that occur right before and during the monthly menstrual cycle and can be made worse by stress, decreased serotonin levels in the brain, and subluxations (vertebra out of place that is pinching a nerve) in the lower back. Hence a widely-used technique in treating menstrual cramps by trained chiropractors is craniosacral therapy. 

This is the preferred technique for rendering care because it also treats and improves rhythm restrictions (fluid flow through the body) which usually also interferes with your nervous system. Also spinal misalignment and the interference it produces causes a massive reduction in your immune system. By performing hands-on therapy on the body, a trained chiropractor can generally reduce the intensity of pain you are experiencing as a result of potential vertebral sublaxtions. The treatments are most effective given either the day before and the 1st day of menstruation, OR day 1 and day 2 of menstruation and include a gentle, painless spine adjustment coupled with some additional treatments to the tailbone and or lower back.  

Well timed scheduling as mentioned earlier with about 3 to 6 consistent months of treatment has helped many women reduce and in some cases eliminate the intensity of the painful symptoms experienced. This treatment is natural, involves no medications, and thus provides the most natural remedy for painful menstrual cycles.  

It’s important to note the lower back is the outlet for the nerves that control the lower abdomen tissue, such as the uterus. A subluxation can cause interference in the functioning of a nerve, causing a misinterpretation of signals which in turn causes abnormal functioning of certain body parts (and pain). Several studies have shown that chiropractic care can help decrease and lighten many of the symptoms of PMS without harmful and annoying side effects of some prescription drugs.

A research study,  Wittler NA. Chiropractic: The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation. 1992; (8): 22-29 determined “Within the limitations of the study, the results support the hypothesis that the symptoms associated with PMS can generally be reduced by chiropractic treatment consisting of adjustments and soft-tissue therapy”, such as craniosacral therapy.

Studies done on chiropractic and PMS have been conducted and have found that women diagnosed with PMS have a higher incidence of spinal subluxations as compared with non-PMS women. Also,  this study on 11 women with histories of PMS that had occurred for more than 4 months, giving care through 4 menstrual cycles and averaging 5-7 adjustments per month. The subjects of the study were given questionnaires at the beginning and end of care asking them to evaluate changes in irritability and mood swings, tension, ineffectiveness, lack of motor coordination, mental/cognitive functioning, eating habits, variations in sexual drive and activity, overall physical symptoms, and social impairment. They reported improvement in all ten categories, with the biggest improvement in sexual drive (70.7%), social impairment (64.5%), and mood swings (60.8%). Average improvement in all ten categories was 44.2%. Chiropractic helps the body to heal itself and to regulate itself better.

In closing, as hormones are thrown out of balance, the role of “Stress” in contributing to the pains of Dysmenorrhea and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) should not be underestimated.  Stress is the body’s response to everyday life. It is the end result when someone reacts to a situation. The body increases stamina, and heightens alertness, strength, and focus. While this sounds good for a short period of time, constant “heightened” senses can really wear out the body. If you don’t take time to relax (or de-stress), and let these “heightened’ senses actually relax and return to normal levels, you may be running out of juice early in the day, and that’s not good because that can cause more stress creating a vicious cycle.  These days we’re bombarded with information from the internet, news, and being constantly in touch with everyone. Our nervous systems are struggling to recover and stay calm and this is where craniosacral therapy comes in, by helping you get back to parasympathetic mode. A viable solution to de-stressing is a technique called the “Somato Emotional Release”. It is a light hands-on therapeutic touch where the practitioner will locate pressure points and locations in the body where the person may have energy blockages. By utilizing craniosacral therapy in the areas where muscles are tense, stress hormones are released and a patient will experience much relief in their stress related symptoms.   Every woman is different. Reach me if you would like to have a more personalized conversation on your treatment possibilities.  

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.