The most common gynaecological disorder is Dysmenorrhoea (painful periods) and affects approximately 50% of menstruating women. It can be very debilitating and stressful. Dysmenorrhoea is classified as either ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’. Primary causes of dysmenorrhoea are unexplained and women often will seek support from an Osteopath, particularly if pathology has been ruled out, and they are generally fed up with their periods affecting their daily activities and find themselves relying on pain killers for a few days of each month. Generally, pain is felt in the lower abdominal area but can refer to the lower back or inner thighs. Other symptoms can include nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, headaches, dizziness, fainting and fatigue.
Secondary causes of Dysmenorrhoea are when painful periods are attributable to an underlying condition such as Endometriosis, Fibroids, Ovarian Cysts or pelvic congestion. There are usually other symptoms relating to these conditions, such as painful intercourse, infertility or abnormal bleeding. It is wise to see your doctor first for period pain, so such problems can be checked for. However, if secondary causes are suspected in our clinic, you will be referred back to your GP or Gynaecologist for further investigations. This might include a PAP smear, blood tests, pelvic ultrasound or even a laparoscopy. You can still receive Osteopathic treatment in such cases but diagnosis is essential so that Osteopathic treatment can be complementary to conventional medicine.
Osteopathy can help with the treatment for period pain by working directly on releasing tension and dysfunction on the structures that support the reproductive organs. Tension or dysfunction of these structures (ligaments, muscles, fascia) may be contributing to your period pain. Treatment to the spine involving the nerve supply to the pelvis can also help in the treatment for period pain. Gentle non-invasiveLymphatic drainage is another technique which may be incorporated to relieve pelvic congestion