Women’s Health. Period. – Period Cramps

Womens Health. Period. - Period Cramps

Cramps are one of the most common side effects of a period.

They usually occur in the lower abdomen region of the body in both the front and the back. So if you are on your period and feel pain in these areas, it is likely menstrual cramps. They can range anywhere from a dull ache to a sharp constant pain and can even be debilitating for some people. I know that I am always utterly miserable when I have my cramps.

Kind of weird to think about really. When someone loses blood, it is essentially their body having mini, small scale contractions and dispelling the lining of an internal organ, which can be exceptionally painful. Go figure. 

Pain relievers are a go to option for a lot of individuals and are often quite effective. But sometimes, medications don’t reduce pain entirely or people just don’t feel comfortable taking them. 

Applying heat can also help to alleviate pain and relax the muscles. Warm up some dry rice in the microwave and pour it into a thick sock or pillow case and bam, one homemade heating pad ready for action. You can also buy electric heating pads from places like Target or Walmart, and can control the intensity of the temperature. These are my saving grace when it comes to me and my cycle.

Some exercises can be helpful in relieving the pressure caused by cramps.

The “bound angle” pose can help relieve back pressure from period cramps and also helps to stretch out your whole back. To do this pose, sit on the floor with your back straight and place your feet sole to sole with your knees pointed out to the sides. You may feel ridiculous but trust me, it helps.

The “cow and cat” pose can also help for pain relief. Arching your back up and down while on all fours helps to loosen the tense muscles. Each stretch is most effective when you are warm, so doing these after a shower would work best. 

The “wide angle” forward bend is also popular to help in easing cramps. Simply put your legs out to the side as comfortably as you can and then bend forward as far as you can. 

Each pose should be held for 30-60 seconds and should not be overly painful. If they do become painful, you are either doing it incorrectly or at too intense of a degree and need to relax. 

Stretches, however, do not always work for everyone. But do not fret. There are other options. One very simple, and often forgotten remedy, is to simply stay hydrated. Hydration is important regardless, but is especially important when menstruating. 

Another good option to help with cramps is tea. Drinking tea while on your period can have a lot of benefits. Ginger tea is great for relieving pain and inflammation and can help to reduce cramps. Peppermint tea is great for relieving nausea and chamomile tea is excellent for reducing fatigue and exhaustion.

As well as being beneficial to your pain, tea is delicious and is my second favorite method behind heating pads. 

Period cramps can be painful. Like, curled up on your bed crying painful, and can be super hard to deal with for many people

Heating pads and medication work the best out of all of these options for me but I have personally tried all of the above options and find that all of them work well for me and other people I know.