Many women experience cramps and other forms of discomfort during or near to their period, with some amount of pain being fairly common. For some women, however, the pain experienced is so severe that it can be completely debilitating, making it difficult or even impossible to carry on as normal.
If you're someone who suffers from extreme period pain, chances are you've tried all of the typical treatments to try and get the problem under control. From painkillers to hot water bottles to various foods, there are many things that are touted as providing relief. But when the pain is bad enough to seriously affect your life, a lot of the normal remedies have mixed success, at best.
For a more effective solution, physiotherapy could be just what you're looking for. Here's how it can help with serious menstrual pain.
Using stretching exercises is one of the most familiar physiotherapy treatments to many people, and it's also one of the most effective for period pain.
The cramps many women experience during their period are caused by contractions in the uterus. These contractions are not normally painful in themselves, but they sometimes restrict the supply of oxygen by squashing blood vessels, which is what causes the pain.
By performing the right kind of stretching exercises, you can relieve the pressure on the blood vessels when these contractions happen, reducing or even totally eliminating the pain.
Period pain can affect a wide area, including the hips, back and entire abdomen. The back pain, in particular, can be reduced significantly by improving your posture under the guidance of a physiotherapist. Good posture also helps to reduce the blood flow restriction when you get uterus contractions.
Pelvic floor exercises
Taking the time to exercise your pelvic floor has a lot of benefits for long-term health, including better bladder control later in life. One benefit that's not discussed as often is that they can reduce menstrual pain.
To get the most benefit, it's best to exercise under the advice of a physiotherapist, who can help you target your efforts.
When you're actually suffering from period pain, a gentle massage stimulates blood flow around the uterus, counteracting the effect of the contractions. Your physiotherapist can also teach you how to properly massage yourself, or you could pass on the technique to your partner.
Not all physiotherapists teach breathing exercises, but those who do can show you how to breathe in a way that reduces pain. This also helps with the flow of oxygen through your bloodstream.