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Q: A lot of women get really bad low back and/or butt pain when their periods start. I also had what they called back labor when I delivered my child. Does this make sense and are they related?

A: Yes they can be related, and fortunately it makes sense when you understand the nerves and muscles of the low back a little better.

The spinal nerves that send signals to the uterus come from the low back. If there is a decreased nerve supply due to misalignment of the spinal bones, one can have some pretty rough periods. Many women can vouch for the benefit of spinal adjustments from their chiropractor to ease their periods.

As these nerves conduct signals in two directions, when the uterus is contracting during menstruation or labor, there can be "irritation signals" going toward the low back muscles. This can create some heavy-duty low back spasms, such as you mentioned.

There are also many pelvic and buttock muscles which are related to the uterus. When the uterus is contracting, these related muscles can get tight and painful. These correlations are per the research of Dr. George Goodheart, D.C. He is a chiropractor in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan and is known as the founding father of Applied Kinesiology, commonly called "muscle testing". It was in Dr. Goodheart's office back in the late 1970's that I was introduced to many of these concepts when I worked as a receptionist for him.

At the time I personally had horrendous periods that included hot and cold sweats, diarrhea, severe cramps, and nausea. To have even some relief without taking drugs was miraculous to me! There have been many times that a full-blown killer period was chilled out by having a friend apply heavy pressure with his or her thumbs to the muscles on both sides of the spine at the low back. Also, some muscle work in the buttock area helps. Although it can be very tender when done, the result can be tremendous and definitely worth it.

In many ways this is only a stop-gap measure, but it can be very effective short term. More thorough corrections can be done with in-office treatments and the appropriate lifestyle and nutritional changes. I hope this information has been of help to you. Let me know!

Here are just a few of the supplements available at my office to make your periods easier:

Core Level Ovary is a supplement that supports the ovary glands in the female body. The ovaries produce the two main female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. This product is helpful if a woman is having difficulty releasing eggs regularly in order to conceive. Also, if cysts form on the ovaries, or if the ovaries are involved with difficult periods or menopause difficulties, this product can be helpful.

Core Level Uterus provides the female body with the specific nutrition it needs to help regulate bleeding and to support a pregnancy.

Core Level Liver helps your liver do its hundreds of jobs which include maintaining hormone balances; storing certain vitamins, minerals and sugars; and controlling the production of cholesterol, which is important for proper hormone production.

Core Level products are formulated to target a specific body part, but with an awareness of the body as a whole and what it needs to assimilate each nutrient.

Core Level products provide the body with what it needs to take in and actually put to use the vitamins and minerals specifically geared for a certain organ. That is why they work.

And that is the reason I provide them for my patients. They work!