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Does Exercise Help Period Cramps

Pam Kelly (not her last name) was only in the third grade when she first started school. She was out of school a few days about every month, but the pain was so bad, she says. Exercise helped ease the pain of her period pains, and she loved it even more. She no longer needed the birth control pills anymore by ninth grade, and she is no longer a regular painkiller sports writer. According to Pam Kelly [real name withheld at her request] Dysmenorrhea, which means menstrual pain, affects many women, particularly women with menstrual pain.

Does Exercise Help Period Cramps

The Benefit: The true cure for period pain seems to come from vigorous exercise, the kind that makes you coughing and your heart pumping quickly. If this occurs, your body releases endorphins that help combat the cramp-producing chemicals that are characteristic of the menstrual cycle.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Several observational studies6–7 have shown that women who are physically fit have less PMS symptoms, but no randomised controlled trial with a no-exercise comparison group has been published to date. Two small (n = 2- randomised trials have investigated the effects of two exercise interventions (strength training versus aerobic exercise) on PMS scores, which were significantly improved at follow-up in both exercise groups; in both studies, there have been two small non-randomised controlled trials9–10 (n = 14 and n = 21 respectively) and found that PMS scores were significantly raised. In addition,, although studies have consistently demonstrated a decrease in PMS symptoms after exercise, the experimental quality of these studies has been poor, and results from them could not be used to support effectiveness.

Lack Of Evidence

We couldn’t find a single study that looked at exercise as a pain killer, so we did our own. We recruited 70 women who experienced period pain and randomly assigned them to an aerobic exercise group or a control group (they managed their pain as they normally would).

Pain was measured from zero (no pain) to 100 (unbearable pain). Women in both groups suffered moderate pain at the start of the study (60 percent on average). However, women in the exercise group suffered moderate pain at the end of the seven-month trial, 22 points less than those in the control group. Experts agree that a 20-point pain reduction is “clinically important.”

The women in the exercise group also saw a statistically significant improvement in their quality of life and daily activities, such as going to work or climbing stairs.

Exercise has what is described as a “dose response”: the more you do, the better the health benefits will be achieved. We don’t know if this also applies to period pains yet. We recommended aerobic exercise at 75% of women’s highest heart rate for 30 minutes, three times a week, with appropriate warm-up and cool-down exercises. This is a bit overwhelming. It’s likely that pain relief could be obtained by exercising at a lower “dose.”

The findings from a recent pilot study in Hong Kong contrasted with our own. According to the researchers, women who exercised reduced prostaglandin and pain compared to women who did not exercise. The researchers are now planning a larger study to announce these findings.

All these results show that rather than avoiding PE or the gym, both girls and women may want to try getting involved to see if they provide any pain relief. After all, there’s nothing to lose.

Always Listen To Your Body

If you’re on your period, we recommend that you stick to your regular exercise routine. Now isn’t the time to push your results to the next level or start a new one.

If your regular exercise routine is a walk to work, keep doing it. However, if your body is accustomed to weight training and cardio, you will still do those activities. Listen to your own body in the end. You may want to take a break, and that’s fine.

However, it’s important to note that although your brain may be saying “lay on the couch and watch Netflix all day,” your body may actually benefit from a little gentle movement.

If you work out—whether it’s month or not—use some common sense. You know how your own body works and how it does, what feels normal, and what makes you push yourself too far.
Remember: The aim is to feel better.

Start gentle, stay hydrated, and give yourself permission to take it easy or stop entirely if you aren’t feeling it.

Jane Flanagan — updated on March 1, 202-

When To Consult Your Doctor About Period Pain

If you find that your menstrual cycle is so bad it’s disrupting your life, and OTC drugs provide only marginal to no relief, it’s time for a medical examination and treatment options. An OBGYN may discover that more is going on than just your uterine muscles contracting.

Endometriosis or fibroids may cause the pain in some cases. Fibroids are growths inside the uterus that can cause pain or bleeding during a menstrual cycle. Endometriosis occurs when extra tissue grows outside of the uterus. The extra tissue breaks down during the menstrual cycle, just like the tissue that lines the uterus. Its shedding and removal can be difficult, causing severe pain.

Both of these conditions can cause severe pain during the menstrual cycle, but there are ways to handle and treat them. However, you will not know if you have endometriosis or fibroids without a medical examination. For those people with severe pain, it’s also important to speak with an OBGYN.

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