Menstrual pain affects approximately 80% of the female population in the course of their lives. This can be an overwhelming monthly occurrence with a 30-year duration. Pharmaceutical companies have tapped into the market, creating plenty of options in pill form. However, many women are seeking alternative treatments to avoid relying on medications.
The Uterus as a Muscle
The source of menstrual pain is a women’s uterus, which is almost entirely muscle, with the exception of its inner lining. Some methods that people use to treat exterior muscle discomfort apply here.
Any physical therapist will tell you that a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) unit is an excellent form of muscle pain management. For some women, this is a great solution for menstrual cramps. Try placing four small electrodes around the navel. Nerve stimulators disrupt the body’s pain signals, causing relief. Additionally, studies indicate that TENS units induce the body to produce endorphins: your body’s natural painkillers. Check with your doctor to find out if this course of treatment would be right for you.
Many women find that heat subdues their symptoms, much like it does for other muscles. A warm bath or a heating pad can be the perfect remedy. Light stretching, gentle exercise, and massage also are used to treat menstrual pain.
For women with exceedingly stubborn menstrual pain, lifestyle changes are recommended. Healthy living habits can play a huge part in decreasing pain.
Women are encouraged to stop or reduce cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. Try to replace sugary and salt-rich foods with high-fiber alternatives. Fruit juices can replace soft drinks, and chicken and fish can substitute for red meat. These easy changes can go a long way toward warding off menstrual pain. Studies also suggest that adding vitamin D and calcium supplements to a daily routine may reduce a women’s risk of developing cramps.
With so many natural remedies, women are no longer stuck with medications as the only option. Next month, give some of these methods a try.