How To Reduce Leg Pain During Periods
Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad directly to the site of your leg pain to help ease your symptoms. Lie on your side and rest. This may also help your triggered nerves relax. Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever like ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to dull your leg pain temporarily.
Why do my legs hurt when menstruating?
Summary – Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue is present outside the uterus or womb. The tissue grows and bleeds with hormone changes, like the lining of the uterus. This can irritate, inflame, or place pressure on the nerves in the pelvis, causing leg pain.
Why do my legs feel heavy and tired on my period?
Why Am I So Tired During My Period? Periods tend to bring on a slew of unwanted symptoms, outside of the obviously unwelcome bleeding. Lower energy levels are one of them, and when paired with cramps, they can really put a damper on your day. Period (or PMS) fatigue can make you want to crawl back into bed, turn on Netflix and reach for your favorite comfort food – but that’s not necessarily the best plan to help you get through it.
Let’s talk about why your energy levels tank during your time of the month, and how you can learn to combat fatigue and power through. What’s the Deal? During the second half of the menstrual cycle, around the time women start experiencing symptoms of PMS, estrogen levels peak and then fall quickly – causing you to feel tired or sluggish.
In the last week (during your period), estrogen levels will continue to fall, carrying this unpleasant feeling through the end of your cycle.1 Other culprits could be iron deficiency related to your period, stress, unhealthy eating habits, or the obvious answer, lack of sleep.
The CDC recommends more than 7 hours of sleep each night 2 – so if you’re getting less than that, more sleep might be the key to a more manageable time of the month. If your flow feels abnormally heavy, or you have symptoms that just feel like they have to be something more, it’s possible there are other reasons at play too, like uterine fibroids or abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).
These are known causes of heavy menstrual bleeding that could cause some of the symptoms mentioned above. And the fact is, they’re also pretty common.70% of women have uterine fibroids, and 80% of African American women will develop fibroids by the age of 50.3 However, not all women experience fibroid symptoms, which include stomach and pelvic pain, anemia, frequent urination and other debilitating symptoms that could lead to physical exhaustion, which makes it even more important to talk to your doctor if you feel like you’re experiencing an unusually heavy flow.4 What Can I Do? Your first instinct for dealing with period fatigue may be to close your eyes again, but that might only make the situation worse.
- Physical activity can actually increase your energy levels and boost your mood.
- Try taking on a new workout with a friend to help keep your energy up or keep track of your physical activity in a fitness journal.
- Hormonal birth control can help to regulate these hormones, and while your hormones will still rise and fall, the symptoms may be less noticeable, just be sure to talk to your doctor before taking a hormonal therapy.1 Also, we know sluggishness and cramps can make you crave those salty and sweet treats – but be sure to eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water during your period.
Dehydration is a common contributor to low energy levels, so make sure you are tracking your water intake too. What if it’s Not That Easy? Extreme fatigue, pain, or heavy bleeding during your period that causes you to stay home and skip out on daily activities could indicate something more serious.
If you’re experiencing extremely low energy levels in addition to other symptoms, like heavy or prolonged bleeding, symptomatic uterine fibroids or AUB could be the underlying conditions causing these symptoms and that low-energy feeling. Luckily, there are some treatment options to consider with your doctor if some of the more holistic recommendations haven’t worked for you and the symptoms of your period are affecting your quality of life.
For example, medical procedures such as, intra-uterine tissue removal procedures and laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation, both of which require little to no incisions, are treatment options for women experiencing the disruptive symptoms of fibroids.
Furthermore, there are other safe and effective options for women who are finished having children. For more information and to learn more, check out the resources listed below: Laparoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation (Lap-RFA) Lap-RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that delivers heat directly into a fibroid in order to destroy its tissue and relieve symptoms.
It addresses fibroids in most locations and may provide relief from heavy periods and bloating symptoms.5 The procedure recovery time varies but is most frequently between 4-5 days.6 Intra-uterine Tissue Removal An intra-uterine tissue removal procedure is a uterine sparing procedure that removes fibroids, polyps and other intrauterine tissue.
The typically outpatient procedure is minimally invasive and is administered through the body’s natural openings (i.e. through the vagina).7 Endometrial Ablation Endometrial ablation is a one-time, five-minute procedure that can safely and effectively reduce or eliminate heavy menstrual bleeding. The minimally invasive procedure removes the uterine lining and is appropriate for women who are finished with childbearing and desire relief from heavy bleeding.8 Talk to an OBGYN in your area about your symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding and potential treatment options that might be right for you.
Physical activity and your menstrual cycle. Office on Women’s Health.U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/getting-active/physical-activity-menstrual-cycle, “How Much Sleep Do I Need?” Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html, Baird DD, Dunson DB, Hill MV, Cousins D, Schechtman JM. High cumulative incidence of uterine leiomyoma in black and white women: ultrasound evidence. Am J Obstet Gynecol.2003; 188:100—107. Mayo Clinic—Uterine Fibroids— www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/uterine-fibroids/symptoms-causes/syc-20354288 Acessa ProVu Instructions for Use, ProVu Users Guide PL-01-0040 SG Chudnoff, et al. Outpatient Procedure for the Treatment and Relief of Symptomatic Uterine Myomas. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2013;121(5):1075-82. McIlwaine P, McElhinney B, Karthigasu KA, Hart R, A Prospective Study of the Use of the MyoSure Resectoscope to Manage Endometrial Polyps in an Outpatient Setting. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. October 2015. NovaSure Instructions for Use.
Why do my knees hurt when I’m on my period?
Aching knees? Don’t blame the weather-check your cycle instead. The muscles in your knees work differently at different points in your menstrual cycle, according to a study presented at the Integrative Biology of Exercise Conference. This changing muscle function destabilizes your joints and can set you up for serious pain.
Since women tend to suffer more ACL tears and generalized knee pain than men, researchers have long wondered if part of the reason has to do with hormonal changes from the menstrual cycle. “We know that progesterone and estrogen affect how the nervous system functions, so we theorized that the menstrual cycle might be affecting how women use their muscles,” says study author Matthew Tenan, certified athletic trainer and doctorate candidate.
Top 3 Ways to get Immediate Relief | Period cramp | Period Pain Relief | Home Remedies | Dr Hansaji
Tenan and his research team at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill tracked the menstrual cycles of seven female volunteers with natural cycles (no hormonal contraception was used). Then they measured the activity of muscles in their knees during a knee extension exercise.
- They found that the firing rates of the muscle fibers were significantly higher later in the women’s cycles, about a week before their next period, compared to earlier in the menstrual cycle.
- Blame it on hormones and the brain: “The way the brain activates the neurons that cause the muscle to move are altered specifically at the latter part of the cycle right before start of next period, when the progesterone is decreasing and estrogen levels are maintained,” says Tenan.
But don’t let the stages of your cycle influence your gym patterns, at least not yet. “We can’t say for sure that there is the time in a woman’s cycle that she’s more likely to be injured, but the fact that the patterns of muscle firings change through the cycle could mean that there is less stability in the joint due to the muscles being activated in a different way,” says Tenan.
- Understanding how the menstrual cycle influences women’s muscles can help trainers better treat knee pain in their patients in the future.
- Some say women have more knee pain because they have wider hips,” says Tenan “But you can’t change the width of someone’s hips.
- Our findings are good news because people change their hormones all the time.” Your knees aren’t the only body part affected by your period.
Learn when your female hormones can help (and hurt!) you at the gym, so you know when you push harder, and when you can back off without guilt. Image: Photodisc/Thinkstock More from WH: How to Avoid Sprains, Strains, and Tears The Best Yoga Poses for Your Knees Common Fixes for Fitness Class Injuries Look Better Naked : Buy the book to learn how to look (and feel!) your very best.
Why do my hips hurt when I’m on my period?
You may be familiar with the classic signs and symptoms of menstruation—including abdominal or pelvic cramping, lower back pain, bloating or sore breasts, food cravings, mood swings, irritability, headache, and fatigue, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH),
- Some people also experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) —a group of those symptoms that start days before menstrual bleeding and can sometimes interfere with daily life, keeping you from participating in your normal activities.
- But what about the lesser-known side effects of your period ? Menstruation may contribute to a flurry of other symptoms, from oral discomfort to stomach troubles and more.
Here’s what you should know about five (possibly unheard-of) side effects of your period and how to alleviate them. According to an article published in 2018 in The Journal of Headache and Pain, menstrual migraines (otherwise known as hormone headaches) occur in nearly 20% of people around the time of their periods.
And the fluctuating levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone levels seem to be the trigger. If you’re dealing with menstrual migraines, some lifestyle adjustments may help. Getting adequate sleep, regularly eating nutritious meals, exercising, and recognizing things that trigger your migraines (such as stress, alcohol, and the weather) may help alleviate the pain.
Per the National Library of Medicine, taking the birth control pill (also known as “the pill”) could either improve your menstrual migraines or make them worse. If you are already on the pill, you could try an option that is progestin-only or a low dose of estrogen.
Or, you can switch to a non-hormonal birth control method (like condoms or a diaphragm). However, you should consult your healthcare provider about what option works best for your body. Also, consult your healthcare provider about other drug options that can help treat migraines. Diarrhea is not an uncommon side effect of menstrual bleeding.
According to an article published in 2022 in Pharmacy Today, in the days leading up to your period, your body produces increasing amounts of prostaglandins, chemicals that cause your uterine muscles to contract. Those contractions allow endometrial tissue (the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus) to shed through the vagina during menstruation.
However, they also cause cramps and diarrhea. Per the National Library of Medicine, you can treat diarrhea by replenishing any lost fluids and electrolytes. Try water, fruit juices, uncaffeinated beverages, sports drinks, or broths to avoid dehydration caused by diarrhea. Also, eating soft, bland food may help ease your stomach.
For cramps, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen can relieve pain by reducing prostaglandin production. Additionally, placing a warm heating pad on your lower belly may help ease your discomfort. Changes in vaginal pH are common during your menstrual cycle.
- According to an article published in 2021 in Diagnostics (Basel), those types of changes can disturb the normal balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina.
- Therefore, you may be more likely to get a yeast infection around your period.
- Vaginal yeast infections can happen in the week leading up to your period, during it, or right after, per another article published in 2021 in the Journal of Medical Microbiology,
Mild yeast infections may go away in a few days without treatment. However, don’t wait to visit a healthcare provider if they last longer than two or three days, don’t get better with over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, or reoccur frequently. During your menstrual cycle, your body experiences fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone.
- Unfortunately, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), high levels of estrogen and progesterone result in more blood flowing to your gums, increasing mouth sensitivity and irritating your gums.
- Sometimes, that leads to other issues—including swollen bright red gums or salivary glands, canker sore development, bleeding gums, and gingivitis,
Per the ADA, it’s important to always practice regular brushing and flossing to maintain good oral health. Visit your dentist if any of those issues become chronic. Your period or PMS may also come with a side of joint discomfort as your body experiences a dip in estrogen at the beginning of menstrual bleeding.
As detailed in an article published in 2008 in Reviews in Pain, when estrogen levels are low, people report feeling more pain. Additionally, an increased number of prostaglandins before and during your period may play a part in triggering pain in your muscles and joints, per one article published in 2020 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,
NSAIDs are effective at reducing pain that results from elevated prostaglandins. In addition to knowing the common symptoms of menstruation, understanding that your menstrual cycle may contribute to other symptoms —including migraines, gut issues, yeast infections, gum soreness, and joint pain—is the first step to treating them.