Zheng Qinwen, the 19-year-old tennis player, was on the verge of victory in a game against the ultimate tennis player when she fell sick due to menstrual pain. She eventually lost the match. While addressing the press, Qinwen spoke about menstruation being a drawback for athletes and many other women.
Until a few years ago, female athletes were uncomfortable discussing their periods or menstrual cramps in front of an audience. It is clear, however, that running a marathon on your period is difficult because more and more competitors are talking openly about it.
Women should generally exercise caution during the first 14 days of their menstrual cycle, known as the follicular period when the egg is developing. Athletes like badminton players or female cricket players are more likely to sustain tissue injuries, such as rips of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee. This article will take you through some natural ways for players to combat period cramps, severe period pain, and some other questions readers often ask.
Natural ways for players to combat period cramps
Low-to-medium intensity aerobic activity may help lessen menstrual cramp pain, claims a 2018 study. In this study, researchers discovered that period cramps significantly decreased in women who exercised for 30 minutes three days a week for eight weeks. Athletes have an advantage since they have to exercise as a part of their profession.
Consider biking to work, taking a quick walk during lunch, dancing to your favorite music, or participating in a sport you like to fit an aerobic workout into your routine.
2. Take a hot water bath
Another technique to give your back, pelvic, and abdominal muscles the warmth they require to relax is to take a hot bath. Adding a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender, sage, or rose, blended with a carrier oil to your bathwater can increase the pain-relieving effects of a relaxing soak. Epsom salt may also assist in reducing muscle soreness. To benefit from a hot bath, try to unwind in it for at least 15 minutes. Female cricket players or women playing any other sport should try this.
3. Try yoga
When we’re on our period, a lot of us want to curl up with a blanket and relax. But remember, movement is sometimes the best medicine especially to tackle those cramps and aches.
Doing any sort of physical activity while on your period seems like a task.
Studies suggest that yoga may also be beneficial for easing severe menstrual cramps. In this study, researchers discovered that women who took a 60-minute yoga class once a week for 12 weeks experienced much less period pain.
Find a yoga class with both a physical and a relaxation component if you'd like to try it. According to research, this combination is the most successful at easing period cramp pain.
Yoga asanas help you relieve and manage menstrual pain. Practice these asanas recommended by AnshukaYoga (Alia Bhatt's Trainer) before you reach out for any over the counter painkiller...
- Wide Angle Seated Forward Yoga Pose
- Butterfly Pose
- Garland Pose
- Legs up on the wall pose
- Reclined Butterfly Pose
4. Salty food items and caffeine must be avoided.
Regarding reducing — or increasing — period discomfort, some meals are better than others. Consuming meals that lower inflammation, for instance, can be beneficial. These consist of the following:
● Fatty fish
● Olive oil (extra virgin)
Limiting items that can lead to bloating, water retention, and discomfort is also a good idea. Examples include:
● Savory dishes
● Fatty meals
Following the Mediterranean diet and consuming less alcohol were linked to shorter, lighter periods and lessened menstrual cramps, according to a 2020 study.
5. Drink herbal tea
According to Sonya Angelone, a registered dietitian nutritionist in the San Francisco Bay region, some teas may help ease menstrual cramps. Despite the lack of research, menstruating women have long utilized tea as a pain reliever in many cultures.
Since they are comforting to the body, chamomile and peppermint teas are frequently advised for menstruation pain. Other teas linked to dysmenorrhea include those brewed from fennel, ginger, or cramp bark. If you experience period cramps during a game, you must take a break and drink herbal tea to reduce them.
Acupressure is a non-invasive method that helps relieve many kinds of pain. It entails applying forceful pressure with your fingertips to particular body areas to reduce various problems. According to several studies, acupressure may lessen the intensity and length of period discomfort. Some other studies suggest that you can relieve period pain by stroking circles on your calf at a location above your ankle. This, too, is helpful for badminton players experiencing menstrual cramps.
7. Increase the magnesium content in the diet
According to DeJarra Sims, ND, a professor at Bastyr University in San Diego and the author of Your Healthiest Life Now, dietary magnesium appears to help reduce the discomfort of cramps. Numerous foods, such as almonds, black beans, spinach, yogurt, and peanut butter, contain magnesium.
Dr. Sims advises consulting your physician before starting a magnesium supplement because the dosage you require will depend on the frequency and intensity of your menstrual cramps, among other things.
8. Heating pad
Because the uterus is a muscle, anything that relieves muscle tension, such as providing heat, may be helpful.
A study in the journal Evidence-Based Nursing found that for period pains, using heat topically was just as helpful as ibuprofen. The ladies were given heat alone, heat + ibuprofen, ibuprofen alone, or a placebo during the two research days. The group receiving heat and ibuprofen had the most significant outcomes; adding heat accelerated recovery.
A review in The Journal of Physiotherapy in March 2014 discovered that applying heat considerably reduced a woman's period pain.
A heating pad or hot water bottle during your painful periods helps a lot if you have severe menstrual cramps that do not allow you to live a normal day.
9. Change your sleeping position.
According to anecdotal evidence, the fetal position is said to be the ideal resting position for menstruation cramps. This might be the case because the work doesn't put any weight on your lower back or abdomen, which is where period discomfort usually manifests itself.
Although there isn't any research on how your sleeping position can affect period pain discomfort, it might be worthwhile.
10. Distract yourself from pain
The more you think about the menstrual cramps, the worse they can feel. During period cramps, it's best to distract your mind with other thoughts or activities to reduce your abdominal pain.
A few essential things to keep in mind
Experiencing significant discomfort around your period is NOT normal. A lady in good health and balance can go through her period without suffering any significant problems or symptoms. Women suffer various issues related to their monthly cycle, but the pain often keeps us from fully appreciating life.
Prostaglandins, which resemble hormones, cause the contractions that cause the uterus to contract and lose its lining. Higher levels of this hormone are associated with more painful menstrual cramps. However, occasionally it could be a sign of a more severe illness.
It's time to see a doctor if your menstrual cramps affect your work and daily activities because there may be another underlying disease. In this situation, it may indicate fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, birth control devices, etc., if an athlete cannot exercise or participate in a competition. It must be checked if there is excessive bleeding that is causing concern.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it okay to play during periods?
It's more than okay to play during your period. All you need is the right coping strategies and mindset to do it. In fact, there is ample evidence that suggests playing a sport or working out during periods is helpful for the body and improves your health.
2. Do periods affect sports performance?
It depends from person to person since the experience is different. Some women experience more menstrual pain and body aches than others, in which case, their performance might be affected.
3. What can be done if menstrual cramps come during a game/match?
There are a few ways to get rid of menstrual cramps when they come during a match. Applying a hot water bag on your stomach is sometimes helpful. Taking painkillers specifically made for period pain can be great too.
Although they are highly regular, menstrual cramps can make it challenging to go about your daily activities. Fortunately, you can take action to reduce the discomfort and anguish brought on by these annoying cramps.
However, if the pain persists or becomes so severe that it interferes with your ability to function after a few days, immediately make an appointment with your doctor or health care specialist. Although every woman's body is unique, we should all pay attention to the warning indications, particularly athletes.