Learning about your cycle can be empowering. There are theories that people who experience a menstrual cycle may have varying experiences of their symptoms — AKA, everyone experiences their period differently, and that’s okay.
So knowing what to expect as your hormones go through that inevitable journey every month can help you lead a more mindful life and empower you to take control of family planning and your health. But one part of menstruation that can be challenging is the pain and discomfort that can come with it.
You're not alone if you find yourself seriously attached to a heating pad during your period due to lower back pain. But what can you do to relieve it?
Let’s talk you through it, so you can get back to feeling empowered by your body and its unique rhythm!
What Causes Back Pain During Your Period?
We tend to think of lower back pain, or even general period cramps, leading up to your period as PMS. But that’s only one of the culprits concerning period pain. Still — we’ll start there.
PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome, and it’s a common condition. The common symptoms range from lower back and pelvic pain to abdominal cramps, bloating, constipation, headaches, and mood swings — the classic ride on your menstrual cycle.
Because PMS is so common, many assume their symptoms are normal period problems rather than something more significant. But other conditions can intensify the symptoms you experience during your menstrual cycle.
So if you feel like your body is going through something especially intense, don’t talk yourself out of seeking help. It could be important.
PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, is an extreme version of PMS. Your symptoms could be classified as PMDD if they interfere with your usual activities. So if you need a sick day during your period, have severe gastrointestinal symptoms, or even just pain or pelvic pressure that’s intense enough to throw off your plans, don’t write it off. It may be PMDD.
Dysmenorrhea is another period-related condition when your uterus contracts more strongly or often than it should. This can cause intense cramping, low back pain, and elevated versions of the usual menstrual side effects. Secondary dysmenorrhea happens when another medical condition causes dysmenorrhea — all good terms to be aware of during your menstruation journey.
Another cause of lower back pain during your period can be endometriosis. Although this condition is often underdiagnosed, there’s been a lot more discussion in the news and media about this condition lately because so many people with periods experience it.
Endometriosis happens when uterine or endometrial tissue ends up outside of your uterus. This can lead to some serious symptoms (often with higher levels of pain and discomfort and a feeling of fullness).
People with endometriosis are also more likely to experience cysts in their ovaries. Sometimes the symptoms of endometriosis can be similar to those of uterine fibroids, although these are separate conditions.
Overall, it’s important to know what may be causing your symptoms. Advocating for yourself can make a world of difference when managing period discomfort.
How Can You Relieve Lower Back Pain During Your Period?
It’s important to know why your pain is happening and to make sure it isn’t something you need to speak to a doctor about (more on that later). But now, if you’re struggling to focus and get through your day due to lower back pain, you may want some tips and tricks.
Let’s talk about six effective ways to address your pain, depending on your personal preference and what you have available.
1. Apply Heat
Grab your hot water bottle or adorable animal-shaped heating pad, or just fill a sock with rice. One, if not more than one, of these things is key to any period-haver, especially if you commonly experience lower back menstrual pain.
Just heat them per the individual care instructions, and apply them to your lower back or lower abdomen if that’s where your pain is. It may take a few minutes to have an effect, and you may need to reheat your warming implement a time or two.
But applying heat to your lower back should help to relax the muscles, leading to pain relief. You can also take a hot bath to experience similar effects.
2. Take a CBD Bath
In addition to ensuring the water is hot enough to relieve tense and stressed muscles, taking a CBD bath offers a wide range of wellness benefits, especially when you use our Relief Bath Salts with CBD & Kava.
Adding CBD-infused bath salts to your bathtub can help to soothe the discomfort of period cramps and muscle soreness and melt away your tension. With mineral-rich Epsom salts and infusions of organically-grown kava, arnica, and ginger, these bath salts have all the nutrients you need to feel like a new person when you step out of the tub.
They also offer relaxing aromatherapy from botanicals like eucalyptus, peppermint oils, and cedar tips. So while they’re amazing for lower back menstrual pain, we like to use them pretty much every time we take a bath!
3. Have an Orgasm
We know menstrual pain might not make you feel very sexy, but masturbating or connecting with a partner can really help. When you orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which is why orgasms are so fun and satisfying.
Additionally, science has supported the idea that orgasms can soothe period-related discomfort. When in doubt, rub one out.
4. Try a Back Massage
Lower back menstrual pain often occurs due to muscle tension. Seeking a back massage can help relax your body and soothe inflammation in your tissue that may contribute to your pain.
While it may not solve the problem if there’s an underlying condition at the root of your back pain, it’s a relaxing trial-and-error to attempt.
5. Break Out Your Yoga Mat
Much like having an orgasm, lower back menstrual pain may not put you in the mood for strenuous exercise. That’s why yoga is a great option. Many forms of yoga can be relaxing and low-impact, which makes it easy to practice even when you’re struggling.
Try a flow that prioritizes hip-opening exercises and slow, therapeutic movements to help relax your muscles and relieve your pain while getting in a good workout at the same time.
6. Find the Right Pain Reliever
The obvious answer to a typical period pain level is finding pain relief in an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen. If not ibuprofen, you’ll want to stick to another NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like aspirin or naproxen.
Acetaminophen is a common pain-relief alternative to ibuprofen. However, it’s not the best for menstrual pain because it lacks the anti-inflammatory benefits you may need when your uterine lining is the culprit. While acetaminophen can soothe discomfort, it is not considered an anti-inflammatory, and thus can’t always reach the pain at the source.
If you don’t like taking over-the-counter medication, there are other options for direct relief. You can find relief from pelvic and menstrual discomfort with our all-natural CBD suppositories.
Our Relief Melts with CBD are small and easy to insert, so they won’t add to the stress your discomfort is already bringing to the table. If you haven’t considered using cannabinoids for soothing period symptoms before, rest assured that it’s very effective for period-related discomfort.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Period pain due to underlying conditions is much more common than many realize. Some studies have shown that up to 84 percent of women studied experience primary dysmenorrhea, and many reported back pain related to this. And that’s from a condition that most of us have never even heard of!
It’s easy and common to underestimate your discomfort, but listen to your gut. If your pain is affecting your daily activities or you have extremely heavy periods, it’s worth speaking to your healthcare provider for a pelvic exam.
The Bottom Line
If you have a uterus, periods are usually an unavoidable part of life. And while you may be on board with thinking of your cycle as a positive, beautiful thing — it can be hard to live that truth while struggling with painful periods and menstrual cramps.
Luckily, you don’t have to suffer. You can use many tactics, from medication to home remedies, to help lessen low back pain, so you can get back on your feet and back to your busy life pain-free.
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