by Laura Martin
Don’t let cramps keep you on the sidelines. Check out these tips to keep them under control:
Plan Ahead: If you are someone who always gets period cramps, one of the best
period pain remedies is prevention. This simply means stopping the cramps from starting in the first place. A day or two before your period is supposed to start, begin taking over-the-counter ibuprofen tablets*. Doing this can actually stop period cramps in their tracks! If your period is less predictable, don’t wait until your cramps get unbearable to take medication. Taking something at the first sign of pain will save you from suffering later.
Heat It Up: One of the best home remedies for period pain is heat. A heating pad, or a “rice bag” (you can make your own!) works great. Or take a hot shower or bath. When I have bad period cramps, I use it as an excuse to pamper myself. I light candles, play soft music, and slip into a warm bath. Sometimes I try and imagine myself at the spa - which brings me to my next suggestion.
Distract Yourself: You aren’t going to feel better if all you can think about is how bad you feel. Getting rid of cramps takes time, and no pain relief technique is going to work instantly. My go-to-method for surviving particularly bad cramps is to take painkillers, throw on a heating pad, and turning on my favourite movie. Distracting yourself from period pain helps. Most of the time I get so into the movie that I barely notice when the pain subsides. Don’t have time for a movie? Meditate, imagine being somewhere relaxing, or even sing along to a few songs on your phone – this can really help take your mind off the pain pretty quickly.
Be Good to Your Body: When you feel bad you might be tempted to binge on some unhealthy comfort food. Resist the urge! Stuffing your face with sweets or salty snacks will only make you feel worse. If you overdo it, you may end up feeling even more bloated and crampy—and nobody has time for that! It is also important to stay hydrated, as the discomfort you feel might be from water retention (that sometimes happens during your period) and drinking water can help get things flowing again. Warm water or tea has always helped me.
Head to The Doctor: Sometimes, no amount of heating pads, hot tea or happy thoughts helps relieve cramps. If yours are severely getting in the way of your life, or you just have questions about what is normal, don’t wait —go to the doctor now.
The advice provided in this material is general in nature and is not intended as medical advice. If you need medical advice, please consult your health care professional.