Period cramps suck. Everything that comes along with a period sucks, luckily there are some ways to relieve the stress and pain that comes with some of the symptoms. I have come up with six of my favorite stretches I do when I’m feeling really bad period cramps during my period.
Besides stretching though, you should do some form of exercise to get blood flowing and to maybe distract you from the pain. I’ve found exercising on my period helps get some blood out of me, so my period may end slightly sooner than if I had sat and relaxed the whole time, I feel better and less ugly when I exercise on my period, and I get endorphins running through me which make me feel great. Also drink as much water as possible! Muscle relaxing medication is great, but sometimes alls you needed was more water. Eating bananas helps relieve cramps as well because of the potassium in them and drinking tea will help because it’s a warm beverage and will relax your body.
You know your body best, those are just some things that have worked for me. If the pain is unbearable, I suggest visiting your ob/gyn or medical provider to see if there is a deeper issue behind your pain because intense dan everyday pain on your period isn’t normal and you shouldn’t suffer through it.
Wide Child’s Pose
This stretch works wonder for my period cramps. I can do this (and all the stretched mentioned) on the floor of my room or on my bed. Doing it on the floor provides a deeper stretch, but doing it on your bed is comfortable and is a way to ease into stretching. You could start on your bed and move to the floor after a few minutes. I do suggest you place a pillow in front of yourself if you don’t stretch every day so that you don’t pull a muscle or hurt yourself. Make sure knees are wide, lay over the pillow and stretch your arms in front of you and relax. Really lean into this one so you feel your low back, hips, and shoulders relax and loosen up.
Lie down on your back and bring one leg up. Bend at the knee and bring the bent knee across your body like the picture below shows. Hold it down with the opposite hand, as the image shows, and turn your head in the opposite direction to get a full spinal stretch. This stretch helps to relieve period cramps because it stretches the back muscles and glutes, massages the back and hips, helps to hydrate the spinal disks, lengthens, relaxes, and realigns the spine, massages the abdominal organs and strengthens the abdominal muscles, and encourages the flow of fresh blood to your digestive organs, increasing the health and function of your entire digestive system. It feels great and is one of my favorite to relieve period cramps.
Double pigeon pose is one of my favorite stretches for the hips and groin, and it also stretches the glutes and the lower back. Sit down on the ground and bring one leg on top of the other like the image shows below. Make sure your shins are parallel to each other. The photo shows the model leaning far forward, you do not have to lean that far forward to feel the benefits from this stretch. Hold it with each leg being on top for about 45-50 seconds. Repeat as you feel necessary. Something I’ve noticed after stretching for so long, is that tight hamstrings and glutes play a big part in how my lower back feels. I have no teaching or certifications on any form of fitness, but I have learned that because the glutes and hamstrings support you all day, making sure those are loose will help make the rest of your body feel better. I don’t know the science behind it, but ever since I started focusing on keeping those flexible, I’ve felt better overall and my period cramps are now only bad the first day of my period.
Start in a seated position on the floor with the legs extended out in front of you. Bend right knee and place right foot near the left knee on the floor. Sit tall and flex the extended leg, then inhale, extending the left arm up towards the ceiling. Now begin to rotate the spine towards the bent leg without lifting either hip from the floor. Focus on breathing mindfully: work up the spine with each full breath twisting at the belly, lower ribs, heart, shoulders, neck, head, and eyes. Work with this twist for seven to ten breaths. Repeat on the other side. This stretch helps relieve period cramps because of the abdomen stretch and entire back stretch as well.
Single Leg Reach And Lift
Lie on your back and lift your legs straight up above your hips. This part is optional, but while engaging your abs, lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor. Gently lower one leg towards the floor, then start to slowly scissor your legs. You can hold onto each leg as it comes towards your chest for extra stretch and support. Try to scissor legs up and down for 30 seconds. This stretch helps to release hip and hamstring tightness, which can lead to lower back pain, which will be intensified during your period since your body is using muscles that aren’t regularly used to push waste out of you.
Roll a towel or put something right above your tailbone and under your lower back running parallel with your spine to support it during this stretch. Slowly begin to lie back. You’ll feel a gentle stretch in the lower back, which will help to relieve some period cramps. Inhale, and let your knees drop open and the bottoms of the feet come together to form a diamond shape and open the groin. Support the knees if necessary with blocks or couch pillows at the outer thigh/knee. With palms facing up, slide the arms out away from the body to a comfortable position. You can imitate the picture below or just go wherever feels comfortable. Don’t push yourself right now, you’re just trying to relieve pain. Remain here for three to five minutes, focusing on deep inhales and exhales. This works because it soothes and stretches the lower back and opens up your hips. Your abdomen is also stretching which reduces stress and anxiety.