Can Chiropractic Care Help Relieve PMS Symptoms?

A woman, wearing a pink sweater and beige pants, sits on a couch. She is holding her stomach in pain.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) causes a number of dreaded symptoms: headaches, back pain, cramping, bloating, and fatigue just to name a few. These symptoms are usually experienced by women in their child-bearing years and can range from mildly irritating to severely disabling.  Can chiropractic adjustments help with this all-too-familiar problem? There are surveys that indicate that women choosing alternative therapies have for the most part found them to be effective.

Evidence for Chiropractic PMS Relief

A number of small clinical studies have shown the combination of chiropractic manipulation and soft tissue therapy is an effective intervention in the management of various PMS symptoms, primarily regarding the relief of associated back pain, abdominal cramping and dysmenorrhea.  In a randomized; placebo-controlled; crossover clinical trial involving 25 subjects with diagnosed PMS (using a Moos’ Premenstrual Questionnaire, plus daily symptom monitoring), a statistically significant improvement in PMS symptoms was noted in the group receiving adjustments and soft tissue therapy from a chiropractor. In this study the treatment frequency was two to three times in the week before menses for at least three consecutive menstrual cycles.

In this particular clinical trial, 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 chiropracticadjustments,” 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 non-treatment (placebo) phase. Plainly put, women in this study experienced a decrease in their PMS symptoms naturally without the use of over-the counter (OTC) medication.

Spinal Dysfunction: A Causal Factor in PMS?

Research from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (May 1999) indicates that women with PMS symptoms experience significantly more muscle tenderness in the low back, muscle weakness, and positive orthopedic findings of the low back. The report concluded, “A relatively high incidence of spinal dysfunction exists in PMS sufferers compared with a comparable group of non-PMS sufferers. This suggests that spinal dysfunction could be a causative factor in PMS and that chiropractic manipulative therapy may offer an alternative therapeutic approach for PMS sufferers.” Patients and chiropractors often report a decline in PMS symptoms including back pain, bloating, cramping, and loss of energy.

Find Holistic Relief at Total Health Systems

In conclusion, chiropractic treatment/adjustments can be effective in the treatment of PMS symptoms.  At Total Health Systems, we are dedicated to restoring a person’s health in a natural and holistic way.  The next time you are driving to the drug store to purchase OTC medications, consider a healthier alternative to alleviating your symptoms and reaching your maximum health potential through chiropractic—call Total Health Systems of Macomb County. We have three convenient locations to serve you.


Singh B, Berman BM, Simpson RL, Annechild A. Incidence of premenstral syndrome and remedy usage:  a national probability sample study. Altern Ther Health Med 1998 May;4(3):75-9.

Walsh MJ, Polus BI. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstral syndrome. Journal of Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999 Nov-Dec;22(9):582-5.

Liebl NA, Butler LM. A chiropractic approach to the treatment of dysmenorrhea. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1990. Vol.13(2):101-106.

Walsh MJ, Polus BI. The frequency of positive common spinal clinical examination findings in a sample of premenstral syndrome sufferers. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999 May;22(4):216-20.

Jennifer Hudson's Bio

Dr. Jennifer Hudson has been a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic in Michigan since October 1993. She received a full academic scholarship at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa. She completed her education at Marycrest College with a Bachelor of Science in Davenport, Iowa. It was there she completed her Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Palmer College of Chiropractic.