Have you experienced menstrual pain that interfered with your life? If so, then you are like many other women. Most work and school absences of women under 30 are due to menstrual pain.
You might decide to take some pain killers or anti-inflammatory medication to get on with your day, but if you are looking for a more natural approach, you might consider heat pads.
Are heat pads an effective way to relieve menstrual cramps?
Ease the Pain with Heat
Putting a Heating Pad on the area above your uterus seems to work just as well as regular-strength pain killers to relieve cramping, according to MayoClinic.com. Preliminary studies have found that heating pads reduce pain and seem to help the blood flow in constricted blood vessels in uterine muscles, which is one of the causes of menstrual pain.
Some experts say heat can calm the muscle contractions that are also associated with cramping.
Types of Heating Pads
You can find many types of heat pads on the market, including electric ones that plug in, Microwave Heating Pad and disposable varieties. Some heating pads need to be holding on your lower abdomen with your hands, while others can be wrapped around your body with a Velcro strap.
Some heating pads, like the portable ones, are easier to wear at work or school. Plug-in heating pad are better used strictly at home, since the wires are short, you can not walk far away.
How to Use Heating Pads for Pain Relief
You generally heat microwave heat pads for three minutes or you start with a low to medium setting on an electric heating pad, while disposable varieties are generally activated by the air when you open them.
Usually, it is best to use a heat pad for 10 to 20 minutes and then take a break for a couple of hours before applying it again if you need it. This helps prevent burns, plus using straight heat for any longer than that at a time does not seem to have added benefit.
Add Effectiveness with Herbs
Another option for pain relief is to use herbal heat pads. These are heat pads that include herbs or essential oils of plants to give you both the benefit of the heat and the aromatherapy benefits of the herbs inside. These packs can include many types of herbs for relaxation and pain relief, such as lavender, peppermint and rosemary.
An Alternative Way to Use Heat
Another way to use heat for menstrual pain is to take a hot bath. In addition to lower abdomen pain, this can ease pain in the lower back and legs that is often associated with menstruation. For a more comforting and pain relieving bath, try adding herbs or essential oils to the bath water.
When you are experiencing menstrual pain, heat pads are an effective and soothing method to treat the pain. They can also be combined with other methods, like exercise, diet and relaxation, to help you overcome period pain and improve your quality of life.
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