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What are some of the main health issues of concern to women?
Women have most of the same health concerns that men have.
But women face many health problems unique to them or that
more often or more seriously affect women than men. Doctors
of chiropractic have always recognized this and have developed
and provided a wide variety of treatment options specifically
suited to women's health needs.
Because of this (and because
most women tend to have a heightened awareness of their physical
condition and are accustomed to seeking help from health professionals),
more women than men regularly rely on chiropractic care.
Women must contend with specific health concerns raised by
their female physiology, by the fact that the female body
is designed to be able to bear children. Issues involving
pregnancy and the menstrual cycle are centrally important
health matters for women. Being pregnant, preparing for pregnancy,
and recovering from childbirth are female indispositions.
Pain during the menstrual period (dysmenorrhea), premenstrual
syndrome (PMS), and chronic pelvic pain are among the distressing
conditions which disturb the otherwise healthy lives of many
Older women are much more likely than men to develop such
serious ailments as Alzheimer's disease (which burdens the
afflicted with near-total memory loss and reduced mental functioning)
and osteoporosis (in which the bones become weak, brittle,
and porous; the posture stooped with the shoulders rounded).
These are just two of the problems of aging
that women must be aware of and can take steps to prevent.
Less ominous, but more pervasive, are headaches.
Women may get headaches during menstrual periods and pregnancy,
as well as under ordinary circumstances. They are more likely
to be troubled enough by headache pain to find a way to overcome
it. Similarly, women are often victims of osteoarthritis (degenerative
joint disease) and have a 200 to 300 percent greater chance
than men of suffering rheumatoid arthritis.
What can chiropractic do?
Chiropractic offers demonstrated relief for many of women's
health problems. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown
to lessen the discomfort of dysmenorrhea and chronic pelvic
pain. Numerous back disorders that strike women are addressed
and remedied daily, all over the world, by chiropractors skilled
in treating those problems and in improving their patients'
capacity to cope and to improve.
More and more women have become interested in diet, nutrition,
weight loss, exercise, sports and physical activity, and methods
for maintaining wellness and general fitness about
which chiropractors have considerable knowledge that they
are eager to share with their patients. Chiropractic wellness
programs are particularly well-suited to the special needs
of pregnant women, new mothers, women who are overweight,
who are in stressful situations, and others who need to protect
and strengthen their bones, nerves, joints, muscles and overall
Great numbers of women rely on chiropractors because of the
caring interaction that develops between patient and doctor
and because of chiropractic's effective combination of expert
diagnosis, effective spinal adjustments and soft tissue therapy,
exercise and nutritional guidance, and lifestyle counseling.
- Kokjohn, K, Schmid, DM, Triano, JJ,
Brennan, PC. The effects of spinal manipulation on pain and
prostaglandin levels in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Journal
of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, June 1992;
vol. 15, no. 5, pp270-85.
- Sanderson PL, Fraser RD. The influence of pregnancy
on degenerative spondylolisthesis. Journal of Bone and
Joint Surgery, 1996; vol. 78, pp951-54.
- Hawk C, Long C, Azad A. Chiropractic care for women
with chronic pelvic pain: A prospective single-group intervention
study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,
Feb. 1992; vol. 20, no. 2, pp73-8.
- Franklin ME, Conner-Kerr T. An analysis of posture
and back pain in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy.
Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy,
Sept. 1998; vol. 28, no. 3, pp133-38.
- Melton LJ. Epidemiology of spinal osteoporosis. Spine,
Dec. 1997; vol. 22, no. 24S, pp463-7.
- DiNubile NA Osteoporosis: How to make exercise part
of your treatment plan. Physician and Sportsmedicine,
July 1997; vol. 25, no.7, pp47-56.
- Vingard E, Alfredsson L, Malchau H. Osteoarthritis
of the hip in women and its relationship to physical load
from sports activities. American Journal of Sports Medicine,
1998; vol. 13, no. 3, pp61-72.