Endometriosis is an uncomfortable condition characterized by pelvic pain during menstruation. It can even cause aching and cramping in your abdomen and lower back. While you should work with your doctor to come up with a pain management plan, you can also care for yourself with at-home treatments.
Lifestyle changes, devices like laser therapy back belts, and innovative DIY therapies can all make a difference in how you feel throughout your day. It is time to find new ways to conquer your symptoms and thrive while living with endometriosis. Practice each of these strategies to ease endometriosis pain now so you can use them both before and during your next period.
5 ways to help ease endometriosis pain
1. Use Heat Therapy
Scientific research shows that heat therapy is helpful for cramps during your period. It is also effective in easing endometriosis pain. Many women like using a heating pad, but you can also try a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel or thick cloth. Place it on your lower back or pelvic area for 10-20 minutes. If you would like, you can repeat the routine a few times per day.
The gentle heat will help to relax the muscles in your pelvis, abdomen, and lumbar area. It can also help to reduce tension and cramps. Some women say that a few moments of heat therapy also helps them to de-stress and unwind for bed. Experiment with different positions and times of day to find the routine that works best for you. A nice alternative to a heating device is a warm bath. If you have any questions about using heat, talk to your doctor.
2. Take an OTC Medicine
If your pain becomes unbearable, consider taking an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. According to Healthline, anti-inflammatory drugs offer the most relief for endometriosis-related symptoms. Some of the most common choices include ibuprofen and naproxen but talk to your medical provider before you begin any medication regimen.
When you take these products, it is important to do so safely. Swallow them with water and some food to ensure you do not further upset your stomach. Regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs can have negative side effects. If you are using OTC medications frequently or for more than one week, talk to your doctor. They may suggest a different treatment to ease endometriosis pain.
3. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Learning different kinds of relaxation techniques can help you to de-stress and reduce bodily tension when you are in pain. Knowing a variety of strategies will also allow you to better cope with the challenges that come with your condition. Other benefits of relaxing include reducing the activity of stress hormones in the body and increasing blood flow to your muscles. You may also help to improve your sleep quality and enhance your digestion.
Some popular choices include aromatherapy with essential oils and mindfulness meditation. Yoga and tai chi can also help you to move your body while you keep calm. The Mayo Clinic recommends relaxation activities like deep breathing, massage, and biofeedback. You may also enjoy listening to soft music or walking in quiet, natural surroundings. Decide which techniques fit your lifestyle and personality. Practice them as often as possible to keep your mind and muscles in a relaxed state.
4. Try Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is a drug-free way to help to relieve the lower back pain you experience during your menstrual cycle. While there are different ways of delivering these therapeutic benefits to your body, the most convenient and comfortable way is through a laser therapy belt. The soft, durable material will hug and support your lumbar area as you rest or relax.
Each device is equipped with the power of photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), formerly often referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT). While this technology has helped to relieve pain and inflammation in areas of the body for many years, PBMT devices are now used to penetrate the skin and modulate pain and inflammation in the lower back, with no known side effects.
Wear your belt for just 30 minutes per day during your menstrual cycle. While the penetrating light from diodes provides therapeutic benefits to your muscles, the gentle heat from the laser therapy will help to calm your mind and body.
5. Change Your Diet
Certain foods are linked to inflammation in the body, so it is important to pay attention to what you eat. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat include tomatoes, avocados, and broccoli. Cherries, berries, and grapes also help to reduce inflammation naturally. Other popular choices include fatty fish like salmon and sardines, as well as mushrooms, turmeric, and green tea. If you are cooking at home, choose extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Studies show that it includes antioxidants that act similarly to anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
It is also important to know which foods to avoid. Refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta can increase inflammation in the body. Steer clear of sugary beverages, fried foods, and processed meats. Trans fats like margarine and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil can be replaced with olive oil. While you are eating and snacking, be sure to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will help to drive nutrients to your muscles and remove toxins from the body.
Healing Your Mind & Body
Endometriosis pain can make your periods more challenging. It can also cause uncomfortable or distressing symptoms. Thankfully, there are ways to heal your mind and body so you can thrive with an endometriosis diagnosis. Stay in contact with your doctor and keep all of your checkup appointments. Tell them if you notice any difference in your pain or if you have any new side effects. Experiment with at-home therapies to ease endometriosis pain and find what is right for you.
With regular use of complementary treatments and a commitment to your whole body wellness, you can feel less pain and enjoy a healthier, more comfortable lifestyle.