Alleviate the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps by taking over-the-counter pain relievers and positioning a hot water bottle or heating pad on the abdomen or lower back. WebMD also suggests taking a warm bath and positioning the body with legs elevated and a pillow beneath the knees to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps.
Over-the-counter medication, which is available at any drug store, can be useful in alleviating the pain associated with menstrual cramps. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, are recommended by WebMD for treating menstrual pain. Women should begin taking the recommended dosage of ibuprofen a day before the usual start of their periods and continue taking it for as long as necessary during the cycle. Some women may prefer acetaminophen over NSAIDs.
Birth control medication, such as the pill, patches and rings, can also be helpful in controlling painful periods. In addition, women who are experiencing painful menstrual cramps should use pads instead of tampons and to lie down on their sides, bringing their knees up to their chests to relieve back pain. WebMD also suggests that women exercise regularly to help stave off the pain that comes with their menstrual cycles.