If your period is anything like the sort 80% of women worldwide experience, you likely spend five to seven days in a month reeling in pain. From abdominal cramps to muscular stiffness, to lower back pain— periods tend to bring with itself all sorts of pain. While most women are forced to adjust and bear the pain, around 15% of pain sufferers endure such debilitating pain, that even daily tasks become impossible. This isn’t just true of women with severe dysmenorrhea or endometriosis: a large number of women who face excruciating pain experience it on their lower backs.
Lower back pain during periods occurs because of a hormone called prostaglandins, which enables your periods. However, this hormone can stress out your lower back muscles and cause significant distress. It is worse when you have especially painful periods because of endometriosis or have chronic back pain. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce and manage lower back pain during periods. Here are some of them:
If you suffer from severe pain—making it extremely difficult for you to even go about your daily tasks—it is best that you get over-the-counter medication like naproxen or ibuprofen. Both are anti-inflammatory medicines that relax your constricted muscles and alleviate muscle pain. As all painkillers, they are effective when ingested at the first signs of pain. Like most over-the-counter medicines, they are available in the lowest-recommended doses, so they are generally safe for use. However, it is best to consult your doctor before using any medicine.
Chocolate lovers rejoice: dark chocolate is one of the best solutions to both abdominal cramps and backache! If you experience low-intensity pain, this is a better (and healthier) alternative to painkillers—not to mention delicious! Dark chocolate contains a high amount of cacao, which has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Having a few pieces of dark chocolate during your periods can relieve pain by relaxing the muscles in your lower back and abdomen. The rush of the happiness-inducing endorphins that chocolate gives is a definite plus!
Besides being good for your overall health, exercising regularly helps your muscles strengthen and improves your blood circulation. Not only do both these physiological effects reduce abdominal cramps, they help strengthen your lower back muscles, thereby reducing pain. By exercising regularly, you can improve your overall menstrual and lower back health. Among the best exercises for lower back pain that you can try are aerobic exercises like walking or swimming as well as yoga. These low-intensity workouts—good for beginners or those with chronic pain—can be done throughout the month as well as during your period to alleviate pain!
A major part of any sort of pain management in your diet. As a consistent solution to period-related back pain, you need to consume vitamin-rich food. All the vitamins you need can be found in food like brown rice, papaya, bananas, nuts, green tea, leafy green vegetables and chicken. Brown rice and papaya are rich in Vitamin B6, which helps with bloating and relieves pressure from your back. Leafy vegetables and chicken are rich sources of iron which help with blood circulation. Nuts and dried fruits with vitamin K and green tea contain anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce swelling in your lower back. By incorporating healthy foods into your diet, you can help your system internally cleanse, making it better equipped to stop the pain.
Heat and Warm Baths
For more immediate relief, an easy and inexpensive home remedy for curing lower back pain is through heat treatments. You can take warm, relaxing baths or lie down with a heating pad spread over your lower back. Heat treatment helps in increasing blood circulation and by de-stressing your lower back muscles. Also, when you apply a heat pack or hot towel on your back, your sensory receptors cause pain transmissions to your brain to reduce, causing your pain to reduce. Simply lie down on your stomach with a book and put a hot water bag or heating pads over your back and watch your pain disappear!
Stretches for Your Back
Another source of immediate relief for period-related lower back pain is through simple stretches. Stretches are ideal for any physical pain management because they help relieve your constricted muscles and ease any pain. While you are on your period and while experiencing PMS, there are a number of exercises for lower back pain that you can try out. You can try the reclined spinal twist, that involves lying and twisting your lower body to a side. Or simply bring your knees to your chest and hold tightly when you lie down. Both these poses will help with cramps as well as back pain.
The most relaxing way of combating inflammation around your back and abdomen is through essential oils. Team up with your partner to have them rub peppermint essential oil onto your lower back. As peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties, it will reduce inflammation and soothe your pain by cooling it. You can also try frankincense oil for its heady, relaxing smell. A good massage will increase blood circulation and leave you feeling much better.
Most women suffer silently during their period or are unable to find proper solutions to alleviate their pain. While regular periods are a sign of good health, the pain they come with does not have to be accepted as a given. Belladonna flower is also known to be effective in relieving the symptoms caused by menstruation. Use these tips to find a solution that works best for you, and leaves you feeling happier, healthier and pain-free.