Maybe your period leaves you feeling just a little blah. Or maybe it leaves you feeling like you’ve been run over by a full-on semi-truck. Either way, the unfortunate truth is that up to 95% of women experience PMS pain of some kind.
And while we can’t get rid of PMS completely, we’re thrilled to say that there are some seriously effective ways to cope. Check out our ultimate guide to PMS pain relief to learn the quickest way to get rid of cramps, natural PMS pain relief, and more.
What Is PMS Pain?
You’re probably already all too intimately familiar with PMS pain, but let’s just cover our bases to make sure you’ve got the whole scoop on this unwelcome monthly visitor: PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome, and it can hit anywhere from 2 weeks to a couple days before Aunt Flo comes to town.
There are many ways PMS pain can manifest itself, but some of the most common symptoms are breast tenderness, abdominal cramps, muscle pain, and headaches.
When Does PMS Pain Start?
As the term “premenstrual” suggests, PMS pain usually starts before the first day of your menstrual cycle (when you start bleeding). The annoying aches, soreness, and cramping can begin anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks before you begin bleeding, and usually stick around for 2-4 days.
Why Is My Period So Painful?
We’ve all been there: curled up under the covers in the fetal position, begging to know: why is my period so painful? Once again, we can blame most of the pain on hormonal changes.
Cramping, one of the most common types of PMS pain, happens because the body is producing more prostaglandins, a hormone that tells the uterus to contract. During each contraction, the uterus shuts down for a moment and cuts off blood and oxygen, which is what causes that pain you know so well.
While moderate cramping, muscle pain, and headaches tend to come with the territory of being a woman, excruciating PMS pain is not normal. If your PMS symptoms leave you completely unable to function, this may be a sign of something more serious, like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
What Are the Signs of PMS Pain?
No doubt you know when you’re in pain—but how does PMS pain differ from other aches and illnesses? PMS symptoms can be both physical and emotional and range from minor to completely debilitating.
If you’re someone who can pop a pain killer and go on with life like it ain’t no thing, we salute you! But the reality is that many women suffer from one or more painful symptoms, including:
● Cramps: Perhaps the most telltale sign of PMS, uterine cramping is something almost all women experience to some degree as their period draws near.
● Sore Breasts: Thanks to all those raging hormones flying around during your menstrual cycle, you may feel breast tenderness, soreness, or swelling right before the Crimson Wave hits the scene. The typically dull pain might also be accompanied by coarse-feeling breast tissue.
● Bloating: We’re sorry to deliver the news, but bloating doesn’t just happen when you go on a late-night taco run—it can happen even right before your period, even when you’re eating healthy foods and staying hydrated. (Such an injustice, right?)
● Headaches: A headache is one of the most obvious signs your period is coming in for landing. PMS headaches can range from minor annoyances to sharp and crippling. Many women might also experience migraines, which can cause light-sensitivity, nausea, and obscured vision.
● Fatigue: If you’re ever feeling drained for no explained reason, check the calendar. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms that arise right before you start bleeding.
● Acne: Curse those hormones! As much as our teenage selves would hate to hear it, full-grown women have to deal with acne too, especially around that time of the month.
How Do You Get Rid of Period Cramps Fast?
You’re tracking your cycle and you know Aunt Flo is about to come knocking at the door. You’re feeling those dreaded cramps coming on, and the last thing you want to do is . . . well, just about anything productive. So how do you get rid of period cramps fast?
Luckily, you can usually get quick PMS pain relief from cramps by taking an NSAID like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). These over-the-counter drugs lower the amount of prostaglandin in the body and can minimize cramping quickly.
What Is the Best Menstrual Pain Reliever?
While NSAID pain relievers are a quick fix for getting rid of cramps, there are other effective ways to treat even the most fierce PMS symptoms. Here are some popular PMS pain relief remedies you can try at home.
1. Apply Heating Pads
If you haven’t already tried it, a heating pad might just become your new best friend during that time of the month. Apply a warm heating pad to your uterus area and feel that gentle, soothing menstrual pain relief you’re after. Don’t have a heating pad lying around? A hot water bottle or warm bath will have the same muscle-relaxing effect.
Before you throw something at the screen, hear us out: we know exercise is probably the absolute last thing you want to do when you’re on the rag, but some light cardio can absolutely make you feel better, in more ways than one. Yoga or a fast-paced walk can reduce the surging hormones causing you all that pain and release endorphins, giving you a double-whammy of pain relief and a mood boost.
3. Try Acupuncture
Studies show that frequent acupuncture sessions can deliver significant and totally natural PMS pain relief. Sign us up! Though the sight of thin needles may freak you out, know that acupuncture is a safe, ancient Eastern remedy that rarely causes any discomfort.
How Do You Treat PMS Pain Naturally?
As researchers learn more about the adverse side effects of drugs and over-the-counter medications, a growing number of women are looking for completely natural PMS pain relief. Mother Nature already provides us with so many healing ingredients, and it’s time we take advantage. Here are some of the ways to get natural period pain relief.
1. Green Tea
Green tea has long been heralded as one of the healthiest beverages in the world. It’s full of antioxidants and nutrients that boost fat loss, brain function, and even help you live longer. And when it comes to PMS pain relief, green tea delivers caffeine to fight off fatigue, and antihistamine to minimize water retention and swelling.
2. Hemp CBD Extract
CBD is everywhere right now—does it really help with PMS pain too? Yes, girl! Hemp CBD extract can help balance hormones and minimize those dreaded mood swings that come along with your period. It even fights off muscle inflammation and pain, without any psychedelic effects. We’re sold!
3. Vitamin B6
In our opinion, Vitamin B6 is one of the unsung heroes of all-natural menstrual pain relief. This all-star vitamin increases progesterone to minimize breast soreness, and it’s also a powerful mood booster and hormone stabilizer. So say goodbye to the crazy food cravings and back pain that come along with hormone fluctuations!
If hormonal acne is bringing you down, magnesium might be just the cure. This important mineral impacts cortisol production to fight breakouts that sprout up when your period is near. It can also help lower anxiety and relax muscles. We’ll take it!
5. Cramp Bark
Maybe you’ve never heard of cramp bark, but the name says it all: this plant can block the spasms that occur during cramping and smooth the muscle in the uterus, giving you that much-needed PMS pain relief. And as an added bonus, cramp bark can reduce migraines and bloating, too.
What Should You Do During Period Pain?
Now that you know how to get PMS pain relief, you may be wondering what else you can do during that icky phase before the Red Tide makes her monthly debut. Should you go about business as usual? Cry in bed until it all goes away? We’ve got some suggestions on how to best spend that time when you’re experiencing annoying period pain symptoms:
Sure, we talked about exercise as a way to get PMS pain relief, but there’s balance in all things, right? When it’s that time of the month, your body is crying out for you to give it some extra TLC. So don’t feel the least bit guilty about taking a nap during your lunch break or going to bed early on a Friday night. You deserve it—and you’ll feel much better when you listen to your body’s signals!
Meditation may seem like a trendy cure-all these days, but this ancient practice is definitely worth a try when you’re seeking period pain relief. Meditation doesn’t require you to sit on a pillow in a dark room for an hour, either. Simply spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing and noticing your thought patterns. You’re sure to feel more at ease when you’re done.
3. Eat Right
Wholesome foods can be a powerful way to treat all types of illnesses, so don’t forget to eat right when you’re on your period. Pack in the leafy greens and other superfoods like sweet potatoes, acai, quinoa, and berries to power your body right.
4. Limit Inflammatory Foods
We know how tempting it is to binge out on a pint of ice cream when you’re feeling crappy. But all those other wholesome foods will only get you so far if you’re eating junk food on the side. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, trans fats, vegetable oil, and refined carbohydrates. All of these inflammatory foods will only cause you more PMS pain.
Guzzling plenty of water is always a good idea—especially when you’re on your period. Water cleanses toxins, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to the cells, and helps your organs work properly. You’ll get better sleep, think more clearly, and get a mood boost from all that H2O. And we all could use that when we’re dealing with our Lady Business.
Learn More about Allevita
When you’re looking for the best natural PMS ingredients all in one capsule, turn to Allevita. A company founded by women, for women, we’re all about using the highest quality natural ingredients to deliver full PMS pain relief.
Our unique supplement combines the power of green tea, magnesium, vitamin B6, cramp bark, and hemp CBD extract to help you feel like yourself, even during that dreaded time of the month. We’ve curated a perfectly balanced formula that minimizes cramps, headaches, muscle soreness, and more, without any nasty side effects. Learn more about Allevita by checking out our products today.