Unfortunately, menstrual cramps are a common source of pain and frustration for millions of women worldwide. While there is some solace in knowing that you are not alone, if you regularly suffer from menstrual pain, you know that a real pain relief would be better.
For some women, the pain is a minor annoyance. However, many people suffer through intense and debilitating pain with each cycle. No matter what your level of discomfort is, you have probably sought out some remedy. One of the most obvious choices is over the counter pain medication. There are even painkillers specifically marketed for menstrual pain relief.
However, did you know that massage therapy can also help relieve pain from menstrual cramps? The technical term for menstrual pain is dysmenorrhea and there are two major types:
1. Primary dysmenorrhea – This is the most common form of dysmenorrhea, and it effects more than half of women. However, the exact mechanism that causes it is not fully understood. The most likely culprits are hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. These are natural chemicals that your body releases at certain points during your menstrual cycle. They trigger changes in the uterus to release the uterine lining with restricted blood flow and muscle contractions. The unfortunate side effect of prostaglandins is that the restricted blood circulation and contracted muscles can lead to discomfort and pain. Making matters worse, prostaglandins can also trigger increased nerve sensitivity, which means you experience the pain more intensely!
2. Secondary dysmenorrhea – This type of menstrual pain is caused by some other medical issue, rather than just a frustrating side effect of your natural cycle. A narrow cervix, an infection, fibroids, or inflammation are just a few of the potential causes of secondary dysmenorrhea.
If you suffer from secondary dysmenorrhea, then you will need to talk to your physician about diagnosing and treating the root cause of your menstrual pain.
If you are one of the many women experiencing primary dysmenorrhea, then massage therapy may be able to relieve your pain! In fact, abdominal massage is actually one of the more effective ways of treating menstrual pain.
Abdominal massage can help increase blood circulation in the uterus, after prostaglandins have restricted it. Massaging the abdomen can also help relieve muscle tension around the uterus.
Lower back pain and menstrual cramps often go hand-in-hand. The pain and tension of one exacerbates the pain and tension of the other. While this can be a very painful and very frustrating combination, massage therapy can be a potent source of relief for both. Massaging the lower back will release muscle tension and ease pain.
Your massage therapist may also incorporate hydrotherapy for further relief of menstrual cramps. Heat from warm water can assist with circulation and sooth pain. In order to treat symptoms in between appointments, there are at-home hydrotherapy techniques that massage therapists might recommend.
Whether menstrual cramps are causing you minor irritation or serious pain, you owe it to yourself to get relief. Book a consultation soon to find out how massage can be an effective treatment for you.
Allen Harper has been in the health industry since 1990. He has had splendid experiences working in the field of health. He specializes on fat injection treatment and other skin rejuvenation treatments. Born and brought up in Toronto city, Allen Harper completed his graduation in the same field at the university of Western Ontario. For more information, follow him on twitter.