Nearly everyone who menstruates experiences some kind of period pain at least once in their life, and many people have pain on a monthly basis. If you suffer from dysmenorrhea (painful periods), you may prefer to treat the pain without taking medication such as aspirin. Here are six ways to reduce and alleviate period pain without taking any pills.
Apply a Heating Pad
Period cramps are usually caused by the presence of chemicals called prostaglandins in the uterus. When you menstruate, these chemicals cause contractions of the uterus and the tightening of its muscles, which can be painful.
Applying heat to the area can help the muscles to relax, reducing any pain you may be feeling. Apply a heating pad to the area, or use a hot water bottle. Taking a hot bath may also help reduce the pain. Try it and see what works for you.
Exercise can help with period pain because when your heart rate goes up, your body releases endorphins—happy hormones—that can help with pain relief. Don’t push yourself too hard; try going for a brisk walk or doing some gentle yoga. Yoga can help you relax, and stretching into the thighs, lower back, glutes, and hips can ease period pain.
Cannabidiol, more often known as CBD, can also be used to treat period pain. It’s derived from the sister plant of marijuana, but it has no psychoactive element, meaning it won’t get you high—as long as you buy it from a reputable source, try Herbal Health CBD.
CBD can be an effective form of pain relief if taken as a tincture, gummy, or capsule, and CBD oil can also be rubbed directly into the skin to soothe aching muscles.
Try a TENS Machine
TENS machines can treat period pain by emitting a small electrical current that reduces pain signals going to the spinal cord and the brain. Just attach the machine to your body, wherever it hurts, using electrodes, then switch on to feel the electrical currents start to pulse. TENS machines are even used during labor, so they can be pretty powerful!
Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the presence of pain-inducing prostaglandins. Drinking a cup when your cramps are particularly bad could help reduce the pain you’re feeling.
Have a Relaxing Massage
Massaging your lower belly when it’s cramping is another method of drug-free pain relief. Massage increases the blood flow to the area and can relax the muscles in your uterus, making the contractions less painful.
Focus on the area that hurts the most, and use this as an opportunity to apply essential oils (lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile are particularly useful) to reduce the pain even more. You could even book in a “menstrual massage” to alleviate symptoms even more!
If you suffer from painful periods and menstrual cramps, try these techniques to reduce the pain. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor to see if they can help in the long term. Do what works best for your body.