As I began menstruating in my teens, my friends and I started to talk about our periods. Many of my friends had terrible cramps and were using hot pads and Midol with every cycle. I remember thinking to myself ‘mine aren’t as bad as hers’ or ‘I have it easy and should stop complaining’. I wish I could go back and tell my teen self to stop minimizing my cramps and that it wasn’t something I just had to ‘endure’.
If you have experienced cramps, it’s a common misconception to think they are a normal part of menstruation. Many of our healthcare providers, friends, and family have told us they are normal. You may have been told to “suck it up and deal with it” or “they are just part of being a woman.”
Did you know that 84% of people who menstruate experience period pain?
I wasn’t alone, but I didn’t know there was something that I could do to resolve them and that a cramp-free period was possible, especially if they are “mechanical cramps,” where the muscles, fascia, and ligaments are causing or increasing cramps and discomfort. Diet, nutritional deficits, conditions such as Endometriosis, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder), Adenomyosis, fibroids are common diagnoses that can cause pain with cycles or ovulation, but even then, there are methods that we can utilize to reduce pain and discomfort.
Through pelvic health physical therapy, we help the pelvic floor muscles relax to decrease cramps.
Once I became a pelvic health physical therapist, I learned more about the anatomy of the pelvis, uterus, and ovaries. I learned that the pelvis holds the bladder, rectum, ovaries, and uterus which are supported by pelvic floor muscles. These muscles can contribute to period and ovulation pain. Through pelvic health physical therapy, we help the pelvic floor muscles relax to decrease cramps. I remember clearly in the first year of my career, sitting in my office during lunch experiencing cramping during my cycle. I pulled out my yoga mat and used the movements and stretches I teach my patients every day, and my cramps went away! I decided to keep practicing this pelvic floor routine monthly and now I have zero period cramps!
Take our online course and learn how to move through your period without pain.
My own journey with period cramps inspired me to create an online course with MOJO Pelvic Health called ‘Move Through Your Period Without Pain’. This course is designed to help you navigate period cramps. In the course, you will learn the anatomy and physiology of the pelvis and reproductive organs, reasons why you may have period pain, and exercises to help relieve cramps. This course is beneficial to take at any point in your cycle and can help with both ovulation and period pain.
Learn how the pelvic floor and menstrual cycle impact one another. Understand why you may have cramps and learn techniques to prevent and ease pain during your cycle.
Ellen Warnock, PT, DPT is a pelvic health physical therapist with MOJO Pelvic Health. She specializes in treating period pain and loves to see people experience a pain-free cycle.
To learn more about pelvic health physical therapy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.