Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Research: What Hormones are Responsible?

Many years ago it was proposed that increases in the pregnancy hormone relaxin was the major culprit of joint laxity that lead to many women with joint injuries during and even after pregnancy. In the 1980's this information spread like wild fire and it is now a known household "fact". Guess what, YOUR INFORMATION IS INCORRECT!

In 2003 Obstetrics and Gynecology released a study looking at the effects of hormones on joints during pregnancy. They found that increases in estrogen and progesterone were the culprits for the joint laxity and NOT the relaxin. This means that women can have joint laxity and be more susceptible to joint injuries when they are having hormone fluctuations such as happens with menstruation, menopause, and even hormone imbalance caused from medical conditions or environmental toxin exposure.

I tend to find this especially true in my female patient's spine and pelvis as they complain of more severe or frequent low back pain during or around menstruation times. The ligament and tendon tissue of our bodies differs in makeup depending on what joint it is located in and since hormones are systemic (throughout the whole body) this means that some joints in the body would respond differently to hormone increases associated with being a woman. In women with hormone imbalance specifically such as that created with menstruation (estrogen and progesterone increase), diabetes (insulin resistance can create estrogen dominance), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS causes in-ovulation), and even estrogen only birth control, I tend to find an increase in overall joint laxity in most joints of the body and these women are more frequently at risk for joint injury and premature joint degeneration.

Do you know any women with joint laxity or frequent joint injuries? They most likely need some help in balancing their hormones and a combination of bone alignment and proactive prevention stretching aimed at improving joint alignment to decrease their risk for further injury. I'm providing FREE consultations in my office or on the phone for those that would like more information on how they can reduce their risk for injury. Give my office a call (309) 689-6200 to setup your consultation time today.