When menstruating, your body may have aches and pains. While not everyone deals with its symptoms, some can begin to feel pain in areas such as your abdomen, back, and even thighs when beginning their periods. Often, those who have experienced childbirth, hit puberty early, are under the age of 30, have irregular periods, and more are more susceptible to having cramps. Cramps, medically termed ‘dysmenorrhea’, affect everyone differently, but there are ways to treat them. Read more to find out how to treat them at home:
A study done in 2018 showed the positive effects heat had on cramps and relieving them via heat therapy. You can use a heating pad, patch, or heated towel to place over the affected areas to feel relief.
Massage therapy has been found to effectively treat pain. In addition, massage therapy accompanied by essential oils to create aromatherapy has been further proven to ease the pain of things such as cramping. Options for oils to treat pain include lavender, peppermint, rose, and more. Mix these oils with one such as coconut to create a smoother spread between your hands and begin massaging the area.
When dealing with menstrual cramps, they can get so bad to the point of diarrhea and vomiting. When having those symptoms, your body can lose a lot of hydration, so it is important to keep hydrated in order to regain any lost water to keep your body functioning properly and even ease bloating (can cause worse cramping!).
Practicing yoga can help ease the pain of cramps through their stretches. In a study done in 2017, it was found that women who participated in yoga saw a decrease in menstrual cramps. Child’s pose, cat-cow, and pigeon pose are great poses to relieve cramping. Not only are you easing pain, but also working on your fitness!
Found in an older study done in 1985 by Dr. Barry Komisaruk, it was found that women who self-stimulate doubled their pain tolerance. Since orgasms are full body, endorphins and oxytocin that are released once orgasm help decrease pain.
Aerobic exercise is a great natural way to not only relieve menstrual cramps, but also work on your fitness, as found by a 2018 study. Doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 days a week for 8 weeks showed a significant reduction in period cramps.
Herbal teas have been used for thousands of years for a ton of different health benefits. Research has shown that teas such as chamomile significantly reduced menstrual cramps due to their antispasmodic properties. Cinnamon, fennel, ginger and more options all hold similar benefits that will help ease discomfort and pain.
Certain foods will increase bloat and water retention- both things that can increase pain with menstrual cramps. It’s important to make sure what you’re eating isn’t too fatty or salty, make sure you’re not drinking excess caffeine,alcohol, or carbonated beverages. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with plenty of water to keep your body’s natural processes working at their fullest potential.
Similar to the heating pads/patches, soaking in a hot bath can also relax your body’s tension to calm menstrual cramps. Add some calming salts or just soak in plain hot water to get relaxed and enjoy!
Cannabidiol, better known as ‘CBD’ has been used to treat things such as chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety, and more. In a survey done in 2019, women with endometriosis (a uterine disorder) reported the use of CBD oil was an effective treatment for their cramping. This can be especially useful when paired with other ways of management such as exercise/yoga.