Period cramps are undeniably the worst. And since they affect so many women, it’s easy to assume they’re just something you deal with when you’re on your period. However, there is no reason why you should have to endure this excruciating pain every month. We bring you some period hacks to help make your cramps less painful.
- Apply heat
If your period cramps are making it difficult for you to perform daily tasks or get rest, applying heat can be beneficial. Heat increases blood flow to the area, relaxing the contracting muscles that contribute to cramping, so applying heat to your abdomen or back can help relieve pain.
Using a heating pad or a warm water bottle against your stomach or soaking in a warm bath can help relieve period cramps. You can also use heating patches to get relief while you’re on the go.
The last thing you want to do when you have period cramps is to get out of bed and exercise. However, physical activity is a natural pain reliever.
When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which are known to block pain perception and have morphine-like effects. It also helps to keep your body active by increasing blood flow and relaxing contracting muscles.
Furthermore, exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress, which affects how you perceive pain.
Try engaging in regular exercises such as walking, swimming, running and others to keep your body moving.
- Strike a pose
Yoga is an excellent pain-relief strategy for period cramps. It stretches and soothes your contracting muscles, which can help alleviate cramping pain. And if you are feeling down or experiencing mood swings, it can also help you feel calm and better. Here are some yoga poses to try for cramps and pain relief:
- Child’s pose
- Cat and cow pose
- Half camel pose
- Reclining twist
- Pigeon pose
- Corpse pose
- Seated forward fold
- Get your vitamins and minerals
Another effective way to reduce period cramps and pain is to eat a healthy diet high in vitamins and minerals.
- Include magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, spinach, salmon, kale, and brown rice in your diet. It relaxes the smooth muscles of your uterus and reduces the prostaglandins that cause period pain.
- A lack of vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, can cause severe period cramps. Therefore, consume thiamine-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, broccoli, peas, chickpeas, and kidney beans.
- Stay hydrated
We understand that chugging water won’t make your cramps go away. However, drinking enough water during your period can keep your body hydrated. It can also aid in the proper functioning of the body’s cells.
In addition, a lack of water in your body can increase the risk of physical and mental stress, as well as improper functioning, all of which can aggravate period discomfort. Thus, try to drink eight glasses of water (approx. two litres) every day to keep your body functioning properly.
- Drink some ginger or cinnamon tea
If you don’t want to drink plain water, add some spices or herbs to improve the taste and aroma while enhancing the benefits. Sipping a cup of cinnamon or ginger tea or both can help relieve painful period cramps.
- Ginger has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can help reduce period pain and bloating.
- Similarly, cinnamon has antispasmodic properties that may help with painful period cramps and PMS symptoms.
The period hacks listed above can help you get rid of cramps and pain. However, if nothing seems to be working, consult with your doctor. They can look for underlying causes that may be causing your periods to be painful and prescribe medications to make them less painful or disappear entirely. Avoid taking any medication without first consulting your doctor, as it may predispose you to health problems.
Before you see a doctor, you can also use a period calculator to keep track of your period cycle and symptoms. It may help you and your doctor understand your menstrual cycle and period symptoms, which can reveal a lot about your overall health.