Menstrual Cramps: 8 Ways to Relieve the Pain
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Published by TOP4 Team
Are you suffering from menstrual cramps every time you’re having your period? Try these simple ways to relieve the pain.
Heat can be as or more effective than over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. It aids in relaxing the contracting muscles that cause cramps. You should apply heat to your lower abdomen and lower back. Try a heating pad or patch. If you don't have a heating pad or patch, you can try soaking in a hot bath or taking a hot shower to help you relax.
Consider behavioural intervention.
Relaxation training is a strategy that uses repetitive activities including deep breathing, reciting a prayer, or repeating a word or sound, combined with clearing your mind, ignoring distractions and taking on a positive attitude. Another strategy is imagery intervention, which uses positive thoughts and experiences to alter your emotional state and distract you from the pain. You can also try hypnotherapy, which uses hypnosis to stimulate relaxation, decrease stress and relieve pain.
Exercise releases natural pain relievers called endorphins, which help counteract the prostaglandins in your body that cause contractions and pain. Try different kinds of aerobic exercise including walking, running, cycling, swimming, kayaking, hiking, or a class at the gym. You may also try stretching out your back or abdomen, depending on which areas hurt the most.
Avoid caffeinated teas because caffeine can make your cramps worse. Choose decaffeinated varieties so you don't cancel out the relaxing effects of tea. Raspberry, chamomile and ginger tea may have anti-inflammatory capabilities to help relieve cramps.
Gently massage your abdomen.
Lie down and hold your feet up. From your reclined position, gently massage your lower back and abdomen. This can help relax the muscles and relieve the pain.
Go for a healthy diet.
Research shows that a low-fat and high-vegetable diet helps decrease menstrual pain. You should eat green, leafy vegetables, which are rich in vitamins A, C, E, B, K, and folates. These can also help prevent anemia from menstrual bleeding by providing nutrients necessary for creating new red blood cells. You should also increase your iron during your period.
Research shows that certain vitamin and nutritional supplements can help reduce menstrual cramps when taken daily. Take calcium and magnesium supplements throughout the month, as these aid muscle relaxation. Aim for a total of about 1g of calcium daily, while up to 500mg of magnesium daily. You can also take fish oil or cod liver oil supplement.
Acupuncture has been used as a pain relief method for more than 2,000 years already. Certain acupuncture points are thought to help calm muscular contractions by regulating blood flow through the abdominal cavity and relaxing the nervous system.
Keep in mind that excessively painful menstrual cramps can be a sign of a more serious medical issue. Don’t forget to consult a medical professional, especially if you can’t get your pain under control.