Muscle cramps may be defined as sudden and involuntary, temporary contraction of muscles that can cause severe pain and momentary paralysis of the affected muscle. They are of sudden onset and can last from several seconds to minutes, sometime hours. The pain is debilitating and short lasting and occurs mostly due to fatigue.
Menstruation and gastric problems too, can cause severe cramps. It can be quite difficult to get rid of really bad cramps. Here we will discuss various types of cramps and the ways to get rid of them. Almost every woman suffers from bad period cramps. Although these cramps affect each woman differently, the pain is always there. Below are 6 best ways to get rid of really bad cramps:
1. Changing Your Diet
A little tweak in your regular diet can be the key to less pain. Reduce consumption of spicy foods and start having potassium-rich diet, this will help reduce cramps a lot. Bananas, white beans, fish and dried food contains loads of potassium. Consume foods that have cellulose. Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, etc contain large amount of cellulose that will add intestinal bulk. Increased bulk reduces cramps and spasms. While on periods, avoid drinking tea, coffee and soft drinks. Caffeine only makes the pain worse. However, recent studies have shown that drinking chamomile tea can relieve pain cause by spasms and contractions. Scientific evidence also suggests that drinking sports drink can ease the pain as it contains electrolytes.
2. Taking NASIDs To Alleviate Pain
If you are quick to respond, the pain will relieve fast. As soon as you sense something wrong like little contractions in your stomach, take precaution. NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This include drugs like ibuprofen, aceclofenac, naproxen, are very convenient. There are products that are specially made to control bad menstrual cramps. However, these products often contain acetaminophen, which may affect the kidneys. Frequent use of such products is not advised.
3. Working Out
Although there is no scientific study or research to prove that workouts reduce or prevent menstrual pains, exercising can never hurt. Exercises, specially running releases endorphins. Endorphins are called natural pain medication hormones. They also make you feel good. So, go for a swim, walk or hit the treadmill. As long as it is an exercise, it will help.
4. Using Heat Treatments
Many doctors suggest trying heat-treatments. According to doctors, heat therapy soothes pain relating to menstrual and bad stomach cramps. You can apply these heating pads yourself. They can be quite helpful in times of need. There are patches available too. These sticky heating patches can save you a lot of time. With the patches you do not need to sit or lay down in one place, you can roam about freely and do your daily work with these patches on. Take hot baths with Epsom salts, this can also contribute in soothing the pain. There are various ways, choose what seems convenient.
5. Taking Vitamins
Studies have shown that vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin B3 and vitamin D helps to control cramp pain. Vitamin E is shown to reduce pain by blocking prostaglandins, vitamin D prevents inflammation and vitamin B3 decreases the cramp frequency. So naturally, consuming foods rich in these vitamins like fish, almonds, hazelnuts, yeast extracts, etc is very important. Nowadays, there are vitamin tablets available too. If you are having trouble eating lots of food, just pop a pill. Doctor’s advice should be taken first.
6. Having Birth-Control Pills
This may sound a little weird but birth control pills can actually be effective. In fact, doctors often recommend women to start birth control to take care of their cramp pains. The reason is that birth control pills thin out the uterine walls as a result there is less shedding during menstruation and ultimately less pain.
Some Useful Tips
- Apart from the above-mentioned ways, there are some tips that can benefit you. The following advices might help you:
- Avoid fast foods. Eat healthy and drink more. Drink lots of water, it is good for controlling cramps and spasms.
- Reduce salt intake. Cut down the amount of salt in your daily diet.
- Do not skip meals. It is okay if you do not want to eat more, but make sure you eat timely. Smaller meals at short intervals can be healthy and beneficiary.
- Do consider lifestyle habits. Avoid drinking, smoking or anything like that. Rest well and focus your energy on breathing exercises and yoga.