If you suffer from menstrual cramps that creep up just before your period and last for about a week each month, there are some things you can do to make this time a little more comfortable. Many times that time of month keeps women from missing everything from school, to work, to even their workouts.
Painful periods are clinically termed, dysmenorrhea. We can all commiserate with what is commonly known as “our time”. My mother prefers to call it, “your friend,” while my sisters and I prefer to call it, “the curse.” These monthly pains are brought on by a number of things; one of them, fluctuations in hormones. These fluctuations actually cause the uterus to contract, causing the pain. If the pain is both severe and chronic, you may want to see your doctor to see if you suffer from endometriosis. Endometriosis is caused when excessive uterine tissue grows outside the uterus in the pelvic cavity. It can cause severe cramps, bloating, back pain, painful urination and even painful bowel movements.
For most women, the first course of action is either an over-the-counter pain reliever or a natural alternative pain reliever from the health food store. I myself find that a combination of B vitamins as well as making sure I am not calcium or magnesium deficient really helps. Again, it is best to consult a medical doctor or naturopathic doctor to see what course of action is best for you.
Another way to relieve painful cramps is by using a heating pad or hot compress. I personally find this effective not only when used on my abdomen during this time of month, but also on my lumbar spine or low back.
Movement is essential for combating cramps. Exercise is so important and can help alleviate or subdue cramping. Endorphins are natural pain relievers and are released during exercise. A light cardio workout such as walking outside or on a treadmill can help alleviate symptoms. Light stretching is also helpful, especially of the pelvic area.
Although you may feel like you’re retaining water, drinking plenty of it will actually help alleviate bloating and cramping. Herbal teas often have calming properties and can help with cramps.