How to reduce period pain at home?
Published on Jan 18, 2022
By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience
Menstrual periods for most women occur every month and usually last around 5 days. Periods, menses, or chums are part of a healthy reproductive system in women.
Normally a girl hits puberty between the age of 10 and 15, which is when she starts getting periods.
The menstrual cycle occurs within a woman’s body as it prepares for the possibility of pregnancy each month. The cycle happens every 28 days, but it can start as early as day 21 and normally lasts for 5 days, with the first 2 days having the heaviest flow or bleeding.
Let’s discuss periods and 10 tips to reduce period pain at home.
What is period pain?
In these 5 days, women go through a lot, including hormonal changes and the oh-so-miserable period pain. Period pain is common and a normal part of menstrual cycles. It is usually perceived as a painful muscle cramp in the stomach. The pain sometimes can be intense, especially in the first two days.
What causes period pain?
Period pain is caused when the uterus makes excess prostaglandins. These chemicals make the muscles of your uterus tighten and relax to shed built-up lining in the womb, causing period cramps or period pain.
How long does the pain last?
Period pain usually starts 2 or 3 days before the first day of the period and is the most common symptom of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Other symptoms of PMS include mood swings, bloating, fatigue, nausea, headache, back pain, and acne due to hormonal imbalance.
Here are 10 home remedies that should help you better manage period pain:
1. Light exercises to relieve period pain
So how do we manage period pain at home? No one wants to go through this agony of period pain, especially when already dealing with the woes of monthly periods. You may not feel like exercising during a painful period. But did you know that exercising during periods can significantly reduce pain?
Exercising releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) which help reduce period pain without the need for pain-relieving medications or pain killers. Moderate exercises like walking are more effective for period cramps as compared to strenuous exercises like resistance training and running.
2. Yoga combats PMS symptoms
Yoga is also known to combat PMS symptoms, including period cramps. It’s relaxing, soothing, and can also put you into a peaceful meditative state when practised in the right manner. The cat-cow pose, child’s pose, plank pose, and cobra pose are four yoga poses that are said to be most effective for combating period pain.
3. Use a heating pad to get rid of pain during periods
Using a heating pad wrapped in a towel and placing it on your tummy and lower back can also help reduce the period pain. One study even found heat therapy to be as effective at treating period pain as NSAIDs.
4. Try a warm shower to relax your muscles
Taking a warm shower can relieve pain and help you relax. Who knew that a simple hot water bath or warm shower could be pain-relieving! This is because the heat from the shower dilates your blood vessels. The dilated blood vessels let blood pass through more easily. The heat also helps relax and soothe your muscles, thus reducing the cramps or period pain!
5. Get some quality sleep
Many women find it difficult to get good sleep when on their periods. But getting a good night’s rest can really help when dealing with period pain. To get better quality sleep, try setting and sticking to a nightly routine by sleeping at the same time every night. You can also listen to soothing music or take a warm bath before going to bed. Sleeping in different positions during your periods is also shown to help improve sleep quality. Watching TV or checking your phone should be avoided for at least one hour before bedtime. The goal should be to be as relaxed as possible so that you ease off to sleep.
6. Follow a healthy diet
What you eat can have a big impact on your period. We recommend eating minimally processed foods that are rich in fibre for period health. Brown rice, leafy green vegetables, flaxseed, walnuts, chicken, and fish are a few good examples of foods for healthy periods. Foods to avoid include fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine, and salty foods. Avoid these as they can cause bloating, discomfort, and water retention.
7. Take vitamins to fight period pain
Certain supplements like omega 3, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B6, D, E can help combat cramps. Vitamin D supplements can improve calcium absorption and promote anti-inflammatory action. Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium also have anti-inflammatory properties. You can, of course, test your vitamin levels and find out if you are deficient in any of these vitamins, before taking such supplements or you can always talk to our expert doctors to find out the natural sources of these vitamins.
8. Go for a soothing massage
Massage your way out of period pain! You can massage your tummy lightly in a circular motion with some essential oils to get relief from cramps and period pain. Massage therapy can help relax the uterus and reduce spasms and cramps. Focus the massage on the abdominal area to target period cramps. That said, a full-body massage can work wonders on lowering stress as well!
9. Drink plenty of water
The power of water! You are more likely to have cramps during periods if you are dehydrated. Drinking water can reduce the feeling of bloating. And drinking hot water can help improve blood flow and combat period pain.
10. Ayurvedic herbs for period pain
Period cramps can be relieved with the right set of ayurvedic herbs too. Ayurvedic herbs and ingredients like Dashamool, Sunth, Ajawain, and Triphala have powerful anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and pain-relieving properties.
While it’s difficult for most of us to get our hands on these raw herbs, it is possible to get Ayurvedic medicines made from these herbs. They work on the root cause of the pain. These ingredients restore hormonal balance, reduce excessive bleeding and bring you relief from cramps during period pain.
They also revitalize the reproductive system. Isn’t that a win-win? Relief from miserable period pain and great reproductive health, all through one Ayurvedic formulation like Period Wellness.
What’s the best way to reduce period pain at home?
The best way to deal with period pain will depend on the severity of the pain. For most women, using heat therapy and exercising can be magical for the pain. However, some women find medications to be more effective.
While OTC anti-inflammatory medicines do work well, Ayurvedic period wellness medicine can also help support healthy periods. As an expert in Ayurved, I recommend taking ayurvedic medicine for periods, along with the right diet, to help bring relief from period pain at home.
Period pain relief medicines come in capsule form and don’t require a prescription. You can also take them regularly, even during your period. These ayurvedic capsules are a great long-term remedy for freedom from period pain. Also, they don’t usually have any side effects!
Periods are a natural part of life but that doesn’t mean you need to struggle with period cramps and pain either. Make a smart choice and embrace a life free of period pain, with these awesome tips.