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Period cramps are a common characteristic of the menstrual cycle. Most women experiencing their regular menstruation will eventually suffer the discomforts of cramping. This most often occurs just before their period. Many Women want to know do heating pads help menstrual cramps?. That is the main point to this article. To find out what science thinks about it all and does a heat pad relieve period cramps.
Previously we reviewed the top rated period pain heating pads which also shared a case study that defines the answer as; Yes, a good quality heat pad maintained at 104° for a period of up to 4 hours has proven to be effective in relieving cramp pain.
There are many a good treatments and remedies on the market for treating menstrual cramps. Some of these include natural essential oils that can be applied topically and even herbal teas that when taken regularly can reduce these discomforts. Then there are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications as well. So aiding a natural pain reliever such as a heat pad with essential oils can be a great drug free approach.
One of the most common and time-honored treatments for this discomfort is the heating pad. The funny thing is that even though this treatment has been applied since time immemorial, there is actually very little scientific study into the way a heating pad actually works.
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Best Pain Reliever For Menstrual Cramps The Natural Way
The Way the Heating Pad Works During That Time Of The Month
Menstrual cramps are that “punch-in-the-gut” sensation that comes from contractions of the uterus and a restriction in the blood flow in a special muscle called the myometrium. The greater the restrictions the worse the contractions. The best pain reliever for menstrual cramps when taking the natural route is to use a top quality heating pad with healing attributes.
It is the common belief in the medical community that the heating pad will work to boost the flow of blood through this muscle and this will relax the pains. Heat therapy in general encourages blood flow which brings with it extra oxygen, protein and nutrients. As there is a restriction in blood and the uterus muscle is being ‘punished’, applying heat to the area can assist. The heat will encourage blood to flow easier and the extra nutrients and oxygen aid in relieving the pain. They do this by healing and painful areas.
The premium high end heating pads have healing stones embedded in them and omit negative ions. While some people may think this is a little too hippy or whatever, I found them to restore the bodies energy and soul. They bring a new element into heat therapy and one that I encourage all that seek pain relief to experience.
Why Does A Heating Pad Help Menstrual Cramps
Some research has been done to show how the warmth of a heating pad can actually allow the women to feel a reduced effect from the menstrual cycle. The study took a group of women and asked them to rate their discomfort at various intervals in the test.
It was found that after only one hour of application from the heating pad pain as a whole had been reduced by 27%. After another hour of use the pain had subsided as much as 45% and finally upon four hours of use, the pain had been reduced by a full 79%.
Researchers were also interested in monitoring the blood flow to the uterus to see if the applied heat had any impact. The test showed that those women who experienced the greatest decrease in pain also had the best blood flow through the myometrium. It was mentioned in the study that more evidence is needed to prove that the heat caused this improved flow or if this flow was part of individual body constitutions.
Another study was performed on a group of women who were all experiencing the worst of their menstrual cycle and provided them with either a heating pad or anti-inflammatory medication to ease their suffering. The group given the heating pads and no other medication to relieve the discomfort was found to experience the same degree of relief as those given the anti-inflammatory medication.
I Know Heat Pads Help With Period Pain… What About You?
While we are still unsure of why this treatment is so effective at relieving the discomfort of menstrual cycle there is sufficient evidence to say that it does indeed help. Furthermore, many of the essential oils, ointments and salves used as a topical relief provide warming sensations as they are absorbed through the dermis into the body.
While no study has established an ideal time for application, heat pads should be allowed sufficient time to do their work. Experts agree that a full hour will allow you to enjoy the majority of the benefits of heating pad treatment but two of even three hours would be better.
Be careful what you apply and for how long. Temperatures that are too warm can cause discomfort. Keeping the temperature to a manageable degree will allow you to keep your heating pad in place for maximum time without burning your skin and increasing your discomfort.
Most of all, give it a go. Women have been using microwavable heat pads, bottles, wraps for many years without issues. If you feel relief from a heating pad, who cares what others say. It doesn’t matter if it’s not a scientifically proven issue. What matters is that the cramping eases and in some cases stops. Whatever works for you, now that is whats important.