Ugh! Here it goes again! Those painstakingly horrible period cramps! The pain and discomfort are so unbearable at times, you just want to curl up into the fetal position and cry. Yet, life has to go on. Whether it’s taking care of the kids, getting things done around the house, or putting in a shift in the office, somehow, you’ve got to find the strength to handle it. Luckily, there are several options to stop menstrual pain in its tracks. Check it out:
Over the Counter Pain Medication
One of the simplest and most common go-to solutions for menstrual pain relief is over-the-counter pain medication. Taking one or two 200 mg NSAIDs or acetaminophen pills when you feel cramps, headaches, or backaches coming on can provide you with relief for 4-6 hours. Keep in mind, however, taking them too often can cause stomach and liver issues. Therefore, you shouldn’t take more than the daily recommended dose.
Applying a warm compress to your lower abdomen, head, or back, will reduce pain. The heat helps to loosen tight and stiff muscles, improve blood flow, and dilate the blood vessels to help reduce pain. You can use an electric heating pad, a hot towel, or a hot water bottle and place it on the painful area for at least 15 minutes. A word of caution, don’t place hot items in direct contact with your skin as this can cause burns. Instead, place it over an article of clothing or a towel.
CBD, a chemical component found in the marijuana and hemp plants can also provide menstrual cramp relief. You can purchase CBD as pills, gummies, creams, or oils. Taking one CBD supplement a day can help to reduce stress and inflammation which are both huge contributing factors to menstrual pain. You can also choose to rub the painful area of your body down with a topical solution or add the CBD oil to a bath and soak for about 15-30 minutes.
There’s nothing like a good rub-down to make the pain go away. A massage helps to loosen tight muscles, improve circulation, ease stress, and reduce inflammation. You can give yourself a personal message when you start feeling the cramps coming on. Sit in a comfortable chair (or lay on the bed if you can) and rub your lower abdomen, breasts, or lower back, gently in a circular motion for about 15 minutes. If you have the time and means, you can also schedule a professional massage once a month to keep those cramps at bay.
Sip on Chamomile Tea
There are several herbs and plants that can help women get pain relief during their menstrual cycle. One of the most popular is Chamomile. This natural herb has been proven to relax the nerves and relieve muscle spasms. It is also a very popular tea for relieving stress. Treat yourself to a cup of Chamomile tea first thing in the morning or just before turning in for the night.
Drink More Water
Whether you know this or not, dehydration can cause more severe period cramps. Though water may not be your beverage of choice, drinking at least 9 or 10 glasses of water each day (especially just before and during your menstrual cycle) can ease the pain you’re experiencing. It also helps to reduce water retention and has been known to help with bloating. If you’re having a hard time drinking that much water, add some fruit to your water to give it a bit of natural sweetness and flavor.
Avoid The Sweets
Craving sweets is very common during your menstrual cycle. Though satisfying and delicious, eating things that contain refined sugar can greatly increase your period pain. This is because sugar can trigger the release of cytokines, an inflammatory messenger. Get rid of the pain by eliminating refined sugar from your diet in the days leading up to your period. Switch to natural sweeteners like stevia, agave, or raw honey.
Period cramps and other associated pain are the worst. Depending on how severe your cramps are, the onset of the pain can make completing daily tasks nearly impossible. The good news is, you can use the solutions above to reduce or even eliminate period pain. If you don’t find any relief after trying these solutions, consider talking to your gynecologist about potential underlying problems.