Many women experience discomfort at the time of their periods. For most, this does not interfere with their daily lives or require any special attention.
However, for some women their monthly period is painful, problematic and in some cases disabling. It can interfere with their lives because of the pain and inconvenience caused.
Period pain is usually felt as painful muscle cramps in your lower tummy, which can sometimes spread to your back and thighs. Sometimes the pain comes in intense spasms, while at other times the pain may be dull but more constant.
There are a number of ways you can treat your painful periods at home. For example, gentle exercise, a hot water bottle, a warm bath, massage of the lower abdomen or relaxation techniques such as Pilates. Although you may not stop your pain completely, these measures can often help to ease or reduce it.
Another way to help alleviate the pain is by using TENS (Transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation)
A TENS machine is ideal for the treatment of painful menstruation. It is non-evasive and drug free. Electrode pads are placed near the area of pain (see diagram). TENS uses soothing pulses that are sent via the pads through the skin and along the nerve fibres. The pulses suppress menstrual pain signals to the brain. TENS also encourages the body to produce higher levels of its own natural pain killing chemicals ie endorphins and encephalins.