Period pain is a common issue for many women, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. There are several options available to help you manage your period cramps and reduce the amount of discomfort you feel. In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective period pain relief strategies so that you can find the one that works best for you.
It would appear history is littered with examples of the search for a cure for painful periods.
According to the Museum of Healthcare blog1, the search has been going on since the Middle Ages, with some rather questionable recommendations. For example, in Victorian times, the wife of Canada’s first prime minister was prescribed Styptic Balsam, which included ingredients such as sulphuric acid and turpentine!
Less harmful options included peppermint or ginger tea, which sounds much better, although they may or may not have provided period pain relief, and the search obviously continued.
These days we have a few more scientific options including paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen.
On the natural front, heat packs, hot water bottles, warm baths seem to provide relief for some.
Heat Pads can provide relief from period pain by using heat therapy to soothe cramping.
Heat pads are an effective way to provide relief from period pain. Heat therapy is often used to ease cramping and muscle tension, both of which are common symptoms of menstrual pain and discomfort. Heat pads can be applied directly to the lower abdomen, or back, increasing blood flow and releasing tight muscles that cause painful spasms.
Heat pads come in a variety of forms, we love Hotteeze Heat Pads, which can discreetly stick on your undergarments, under clothing to provide lasting heat benefits that can last up to 14 hours.
A hot water bottle is a simple and effective tool for relieving painful periods. A hot water bottle is basically a sealed container filled with hot water that can be placed directly on the abdomen area to provide soothing relief from menstrual cramps and other abdominal pains. The heat from the bottle helps relax the muscles in the uterus, which can help reduce spasms and cramping.
Warm baths are another great way to ease period pain. Heat is known to relax tense muscles and reduce muscle cramps, so a warm bath can be a great way to take the edge off during your period. You can add different essential oils or Epsom salts for an even more soothing effect. Make sure you keep your bath at a comfortable temperature, as too hot of water can dehydrate you.
Relaxation techniques are a great way to help relieve period pain. Many people find that relaxation techniques can be used to reduce muscle tension and menstrual cramps, as well as the stress and anxiety that often accompany the menstrual cycle. Some of the most effective relaxation techniques include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, yoga poses, and self-massage. You can find out more about some of these techniques in our previous article “A guide to guided meditation”
Pursue the non-pharmacological treatment options a little further and you’ll discover the world of Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS for short. While it might sound scary, it simply means using a handheld device to pass a small electrical current across your skin (that’s what transcutaneous means) to stimulate the nerves and relieve your pain.
Scientists aren’t 100% sure how TENS works, but two theories suggest it could be by:2,3
In fact, TENS devices are also used to treat and relieve other painful medical conditions such as: 2,3
TENS devices fall into a category of medical technology called e-stim, an abbreviation for electrical stimulation.4 Other e-stim devices include EMS machines. EMS is short for Electronic Muscle Stimulation, and as the name suggests, they are used to stimulate muscles.4
Sadly, many women aren’t just plagued by period pain (also known as dysmenorrhoea), urinary incontinence also ‘comes with the territory’.
Stress incontinence is the most common type and it’s the one that affects women the most, usually as a result of pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Pregnancy and childbirth have an impact on the pelvic floor muscles, a band of muscles that stretches across the bottom of your abdomen, from your tailbone (coccyx) to your pubic bone. These muscles support organs including your uterus, bladder and bowel. When they’re weakened, the bladder is put under pressure, increasing the risk of incontinence.5
The good news is that like any muscle in the body, some exercise will help. Perhaps you’ve heard of pelvic floor exercises, often called Kegel exercises. Pelvic Floor Exercisers fall into the EMS category, and send gentle electrical muscle stimulation directly to the pelvic floor muscles through a discreet probe to help strengthen/tone or soothe these muscles.
So, if you’re a woman who suffers period pain and have given birth, or maybe you’d just like to maintain pelvic floor muscle tone, we have some very good news for you.
Tenscare has just released the Unicare device that offers both TENS and EMS options in one, small, portable appliance.
The Unicare has a total of five programs to offer. Three programs cover incontinence, one designed specifically for toning the pelvic floor muscle, and the final one provides menstrual pain relief.
Check out this fabulous device here.
It is always best to get medical advice from your healthcare professional, however, if you’re a woman looking for period pain relief, it is important to consider all of your options. Hot water bottles and warm baths can provide soothing relief, while TENS therapy and EMS devices can help strengthen weakened pelvic floor muscles or reduce spasms and cramping. The Unicare device is an ideal choice for women who need both TENS and EMS therapy as it offers five programs specifically designed to tackle incontinence, pelvic floor muscle toning, and menstrual pain relief. With the right approach, you can find the relief you need without having to deal with unwanted common side effects.