Q:

How do you ease cramps?

A:

Quick Answer

Some methods for relieving menstrual cramps include taking pain medication, using heat or exercising. Menstrual cramps are also known as dysmenorrhea and are caused by contractions of the uterine wall.

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Full Answer

Many women experience cramping during menstruation. The pain can range from slightly annoying to increasingly painful. There are remedies that might be successful in relieving the pain.

Step 1: Take pain medication

Sometimes a simple over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication is enough to alleviate the pain. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve or Midol) work well. These should be taken at the first sign of pain for the best results.

Step 2: Use heat

Heat is useful in relaxing cramped muscles. A warm bath may be helpful. Using a heating pad to concentrate heat on the abdomen works as well. Heat opens blood vessels and improves blood flow, which alleviates the cramping.

Step 3: Get some exercise

While exercising might sound counter-productive, those who are in shape are less likely to suffer from aches and pains. Doing stretching exercises such as yoga, especially the poses that concentrate on the pelvis and lumbar region, are helpful as well. Exercising releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that may make a person less susceptible to feeling the pain of cramps.

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