4 Ways to Get Rid of Cramps During Red Days
For a lot of women, one telltale sign that their red days are here (or are coming soon) would be a throbbing pain in their lower abdomen, back, and may also involve the thighs. Menstrual cramps, or what is also known as dysmenorrhea may last for 12 up to 72 hours and can occur alongside other symptoms like nausea, headaches, and dizziness.
These cramps develop because of changes in your body, mainly involving a chemical called prostaglandin. This causes the muscles in your uterus to contract, cramp, and cause a painful sensation. In some cases, these cramps can be caused by diseases like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
In one 2014 study, researchers discovered that dysmenorrhea can occur between 16% to 91% of women who are of childbearing or reproductive age, and 2% to 29% of these women tend to deal with severe pain.
If you struggle with menstrual cramps each month, take note of these tips and remedies that will
Take medicines if needed.
Medicines can be taken at the start of your red days or once you feel cramps. Examples of medicines that can target menstrual cramps include pain relievers like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like mefenamic acid. In some cases, you may be prescribed certain medicines too.
Try to exercise if you can.
At first glance, working out may seem counterproductive since you are in pain, but did you know that it may help relieve menstrual cramps? You have endorphins to thank for this effect – these are hormones released by your brain when you exercise. These hormones “block” your brain’s pain receptors and repel pain signals released by your uterus.
Exercise also aids with better blood circulation, since at this point your uterus is contracting and cramping, reducing blood flow, and causing the dreaded painful sensation in your body.
If you are interested, try practicing yoga, walking, or light jogging during your red days to prevent cramps from affecting you. Just make sure to drink lots of water and listen to your body to reduce the risk for injuries and over exercising.
Have a cup of chamomile tea.
Some studies have linked this herb to various pain-relieving effects. One 2019 study noted that chamomile may be useful in addressing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) since it has compounds that help promote anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and anti-anxiety abilities.
Apply something warm onto the affected area.
Researchers highlighted in this 2018 study that this tried-and-tested method may help women experiencing menstrual cramps. This is because the sensation of heat may aid in decreasing muscle tension, relaxing abdominal muscles, lessening muscle spasm-caused pain, and reducing congestion and swelling.
As such, applying a hot compress, heating pad, or hot water bottle on your abdomen or lower back may help ease menstrual cramps. You may try taking a warm bath as well to decrease these aches during red days.
If menstrual cramps still persist despite trying any of these remedies, consult a physician right away. It is possible that these cramps are already symptoms of a much more debilitating condition that can affect your health if left unaddressed.