What is PMS?

PMS. Those famous three letters we hear so often. PMS is often spoken with references to chocolate cravings, the feeling of unwanted crying and the feeling of sharp stabs in the stomach. Most women, especially because of PMS, dread that time of month. PMS (premenstrual syndrome) occurs during a woman’s period. PMS or period symptoms include emotional and physical symptoms. Period cramps are one of the most common symptoms of menstruation we hear about.

During PMS, a woman can experience a variety of PMS symptoms. Emotional symptoms can include mood swings, irritability, anxiety and change in appetite. Physical symptoms can include headaches, painful cramps and period bloating. A number of women can also experience menstrual cycle back pain.  Back pain during your period “is typically muscular in nature and thought to be caused by hormone changes. Prostaglandins (hormones released during a menstrual cycle to promote uterine contraction to shed the uterine lining) can affect the lower back muscles.” (Virginia Spine Institute)

What are cramps and what causes them?

Period cramps are a sign of PMS and is a PMS symptom that can occur before menstruation.  Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions in the uterus. They can cause an aching pain in the belly and pain in the hips and lower back.

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