Why does heat help period cramps?

+73 votes
asked Mar 23, 2015 in Health & Wellness by JERELL (790 points)
My mom has always recommended a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel for period cramps. I still end up using pain killers but I have to admit that the heat definitely helps. Why does the heat help with period cramps?

2 Answers

+23 votes
answered Mar 30, 2015 by Sharina (1,090 points)

It’s true. Although many people have known this for years, the fact that heat can kill period cramps has been scientifically proven recently.

Most pain is caused by blood being temporarily slowed and reduced. The heat actually helps the blood flow to the area of pain which, in turn, alleviates the pain. Heat will actually work exactly like an over-the-counter pain killer for over an hour!

Heat actually works! Scientists actually studied heat and pain as they do pharmaceutical pain killers, and it works in much the same way! As with pharmaceutical pain killers, heat applied to pain helps temporarily alleviate pain, especially in organs and muscles.

Unfortunately, heat does not work as long as pharmaceutical drugs and you are usually stuck in one position for a while as you use the heat. If you have the time, and you want a natural way to kill the pain temporarily, you can definitely apply heat to the area and it will work.

REFERENCE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-394086/Hot-water-bottle-really-does-ease-period-pain.html

+3 votes
answered Mar 31, 2015 by Ahed (390 points)

Why does heat help period cramps? It does work because heat loosens up the tension in the muscles and organs. Heat doesn’t work for everyone, though, and it doesn’t last very long; so I still take Motrin, Advil, Extra-Strength Tylenol, or Pamprin. There are other drugs that your doctor can prescribe to help if your period cramps are really bad. Sometimes, your doctor may even prescribe you narcotics or muscle relaxers.

You can find many home remedies for menstrual cramps, you may find some more from the following link. As I mentioned, I would take pain killers if the heat doesn't work. A friend told me that hot ginger tea is quite effective for her. I'm not sure this is because of ginger or heat, anyway you can still try it.

http://www.enkivillage.com/home-remedies-for-menstrual-cramps.html

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