Midol. Chocolate. The Real Housewives and a heating pack. Sound familiar? For many women, this is a familiar ritual each month and deal with painful side effects from their monthly period to deal with Premenstrual (PMS) symptoms including:
- Muscle cramps
- Breast tenderness
So, can you treat PMS symptoms naturally and without medication?
According to the Office On Women’s Health, over 90% of women suffer from PMS symptoms and can be debilitating for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Many of the side effects from your period can be alleviated by reducing inflammation and the stress on your body’s nervous system. Traditional treatment methods to provide relief include anti-inflammatory medicine (AKA NSAIDS) and prescription birth control. The medication may provide temporary relief, but can cause other symptoms and long-term side effects.
There are many natural remedies to help reduce inflammation and pain from your periods. We’ve compiled the ultimate list of how to reduce your period pain without the use of medication.
How to treat PMS symptoms naturally
See a chiropractor.
- Does chiropractic care affect your period? Yes, getting a chiropractic adjustment can affect your period. Chiropractors use a natural and holistic approach to relieve pain and restore wellness. A chiropractor does this by examining the whole body and removing nervous system interference, subluxations, stemming from the spine. All of the organs in the body, like the female reproductive organs, need optimal nerve supply from the spine. By removing the interference with a spinal adjustment, the chemical balance in the body can be restored which alleviates pain and normal function. A chiropractic adjustment can help lower pain no matter what time of the month it is.
Drink plenty of water daily to keep your muscles and organs hydrated.
Eat fruits and green vegetables.
- Try to eat ones that have a higher water content like watermelon, squash, berries, etc.
Discuss supplementation with your doctor.
- Supplements that are often taken for PMS symptoms are magnesium, omegas, gingko bilboa, St. John’s Wort, chasteberry, maca, vitamins B-6 and B-12.
Swap coffee for tea.
- There are numerous teas with a host of benefits that help with PMS symptoms. Peppermint, cinnamon, raspberry leaf, fennel, ginger, hibiscus, and chamomile tea may all help reduce cramping and relieve muscle pain.
Get your heart pumping.
- It increases the flow of endorphins, which is a natural painkiller.
Channel your inner yogi.
- Stretch out your muscles. Stretching out your hip flexors, abdomen, and back loosens up the muscles and reduces pain.
Take a hot water shower.
- Taking a hot shower can help relax your muscles, lower back and abdomen or place a warm compress on your lower back.
- A 2012 study found that a warm compress at 104 degrees F was just as effective at treating discomfort as ibuprofen (BMC Women’s Health).
- If you find cold pack more effective, use an ice pack and cover it in a towel. Place this over your abdomen.
- That’s right. DARK chocolate—the darker the better. But keep everything in moderation?
Just say no.
- It may sound good, but a cheeseburger is not likely to help your symptoms. Refrain from eating inflammatory foods like red meat, dairy, sugar, processed foods, wheat, and salt.
Find your zen.
Get 8 hours of a good, deep, sleep.
- Enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep. Your body will thank you.
Women with painful periods usually experience other side effects or pain that is related to how healthy their body is overall. Remember, that discomfort from your menstrual cycle isn’t from a lack of Midol or ice cream. Choose treatments that help you feel your best and keep you at your healthiest. Schedule an appointment to speak with a physician about how to manage your period symptoms without medicine.