Freedom from Menstrual Pain with Pelvic PT

Three Secrets to a Pain-free Period

It happens once a month for us ladies beginning around the average age of 12.51. Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s not painful. Sometimes it is heavy, sometimes it is light. And sometimes it lands us feeling ill or in bed all day and other times we hardly notice it. It affects all of us differently making it one of the biggest mysteries of the female sex. Hopefully, with all those hints, you can tell that I’m talking about our menstrual cycle.

Not only does the symptoms of menstruation vary, but so do our solutions.

As a pelvic physical therapist, I would like to share one of my favorite solutions to help free you from pelvic pain.

Get Moving!

Get Moving

No surprise that a DPT tells you this one!  Low-intensity exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga can be a great option2.  In fact, research has been done on yoga poses to help pelvic pain finding 3 poses that are helpful to reduce menstrual cramps.

They are cat pose, cobra pose, and fish pose.3 Stretching and light strength training are helpful as well. Kegel exercises are also a great way to add support to your pelvis by strengthening your pelvic floor.

Tried them already and they did not work? I’d challenge you to try a session or two of pelvic floor PT to see if you truly are doing the exercises correctly. Most people who have tried them without results are doing them wrong!

Bodywork

Bodywork

Dealing with cramping and pain may have your nervous system hyped up as a defense mechanism. Seeking out a massage during this painful time can be helpful, but a specific abdominal technique called Visceral Manipulation can be even more helpful. Visceral Manipulation is one of my favorite techniques for menstrual pain because a trained therapist assesses the motion and ease of movement of each of your pelvic organs (also known as viscera). If the visceral movement is not balanced, the organ may be stressed and have a harder time being able to do the jobs it was made for (ex: uterus shedding the menstrual lining).

One note of caution on this is that visceral manipulation needs to be performed by a highly trained Visceral Manipulation therapist to be sure that the target organ and others around it are protected and not injured during this type of treatment.

Modalities

Modalities

Let’s face it, the pain of some menstrual cycles is easier than others to push through. Modalities such as Hot packs and TENS units (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) have been proven to be extremely helpful in reducing menstrual symptoms.4 Both are inexpensive, reusable,  easy, and effective means of monthly symptom management.

Plus, it’s all-natural!  A visit with a pelvic PT can be very helpful to get you hooked up with quality home modalities that will help improve your quality of life during menstruation.

Diet and Medication are also effective means of controlling menstrual pain. While your DPT can be a great resource to chat about various medications or diet changes, you really should see your doctor before taking any supplements or medications.

Finally, if your menstrual cycles are making it hard to go to work or school or engage with friends and family, be sure to contact your primary care doctor, but also consider coming to see a pelvic physical therapist may be a helpful option for you!

Resources

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12509562/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27315239/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21514190/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24856936/
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