How to Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home

Listen to this article

Menstrual cramps can range from mild to debilitating, which makes them especially difficult to contend with when you’re not home. Thankfully many common remedies can be adapted for use at school or work. By relaxing cramping muscles, reducing your pain and using coping strategies designed for when you’re out of the house, you can relieve cramps on the go and get on with your day.

Relaxing Cramping MusclesDownload Article

  1. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 1
    Take deep breaths. Deep breaths flood your blood with oxygen and can reduce muscle cramps. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your belly relax outward as you draw air deep into your diaphragm. You can perform a set of 10 deep breaths for optimal relaxation. This can easily be done in class or in your office.[1]
  2. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 2
    Apply pressure to reflexology pressure points. There are some easily accessible pressure points you can use to reduce menstrual cramping. One is located 4 finger widths below your navel, and one is located on the front of each hipbone. Use your middle finger to apply slow, firm pressure at each point, holding each one for 2-3 minutes to start. You can do this discreetly over your clothes while sitting in a meeting or while you read in school.[2]
    • Don’t hold these points for longer than 10 minutes at a time, which may cause soreness. After performing one session of 2-3 minutes, you can do another if it feels comfortable.
  3. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 3
    Massage your abdomen and lower back in small circles. Massage can increase circulation and bring more blood to the area to relieve muscle cramping. Follow your discomfort to provide the most relief: If your lower back is hurting, rub small circles near your spine with your thumb, which is your most powerful finger. If you have lower abdominal cramping, use your thumbs to massage in a circular motion from hip bone to hip bone across your belly.[3]
    • Circular motions can penetrate more deeply and bring better circulation to the area than more sweeping motions. If a different massage pattern feels good though, just do whatever lessens your discomfort.
    • This massage is discreet and can be performed over your clothes in the car or when seated during your work or school day.
  4. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 4
    Drink lots of water. Being well-hydrated eases muscle cramping and can reduce period pain. Aim to get 2 liters (or half a gallon) of water a day, especially when you’re having cramps. You can carry a water bottle with you on the go and refill over the course of your day.[4]
  5. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 5
    Apply a few drops of essential oils. Essential oils can reduce tension and help naturally balance the hormones that cause bad menstrual cramping. Apply 2-3 drops of peppermint or clary sage oil to the inside of your wrist, so you can take a sniff during the day. If you find the scent to be distracting when you eat or drink, you can apply the drops directly to your abdominal area. Although some studies support the use of aromatherapy for cramps, more research needs to be done to determine whether it is safe and effective. [5]
    • You can keep a bottle of oil in your book bag or laptop bag, so you can address your discomfort on the go.
    • Do not apply more essential oil than directed. It is also not for use internally.

Reducing PainDownload Article

  1. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 6
    Create a makeshift heat pad using paper towels. Heat increases blood flow to cramping muscles and can be a strong, relaxing pain reliever. If you have access to a microwave, in a work break room for example, dampen some paper towels and heat them in 30-second increments in the microwave until they are warm but not steaming. Take them to the bathroom and apply to your lower back for some soothing pain relief.
    • If you don’t want to risk making your clothes damp, it may be helpful to sit on the toilet. This way you can apply the heated paper towels to your lower back with your pants or skirt lowered.
    • If you don’t have access to a microwave, you can still employ heat to soothe your cramps. Run some paper towels under hot water in the bathroom. Wring them well and place on your abdomen or lower back to soothe your cramping.
  2. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 7
    Take the stairs or walk the hall. Exercise produces endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain relievers. Since you likely can’t put in a treadmill session on the go, try to incorporate easy exercise into your work or school day to boost your endorphins and provide some natural cramping relief. You could take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk outside during a free period.[6]

Coping When You’re Out All DayDownload Article

  1. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 9
    Apply a personal heating pad. A personal heating pad, such as a Thermacare patch, is activated by exposure to the air and is invisible underneath your clothes. Wearing one can reduce cramping and relieve pain without needing to perform the paper towel method. Many patches stay warm for up to 8 hours, and you can apply them directly to the abdomen or back for relief.
    • Keep a patch in your car or book bag, so you’ll always have one handy in case you need it.
  2. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 10
    Ask a friend for OTC pain medication or carry a small bottle with you. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can reduce your pain and make you more comfortable. For the best pain relief, take these medications at the onset of your cramping and continue while you are experiencing symptoms. It’s generally more effective to get ahead of the pain with medication when it is mild, than to blunt the pain once it is already very strong.[7]
    • Ibuprofen dosage is 200 to 400mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Acetaminophen dosage is 500-1000mg every 6 hours as needed.
    • If you’re at a hotel or restaurant for a business meeting, you can also ask the concierge or maĆ®tre d’ for a painkiller. Many keep a stock of common OTC medications for staff members and are happy to share one with patrons.
    • If you find your cramps begin and you don’t have any medication with you, ask a friend if they have a capsule to spare.
  3. Image titled Deal With Cramps when You're Not Home Step 11
    Switch to maxi pads. While tampons are very convenient, they may irritate the cervix, aggravating cramping. If your cramping is very intense, it may be worth switching to pads for a day in case some topical irritation is increasing your discomfort. Most public restrooms in schools and offices have pads available in the menstrual-product vending machines.[8]


Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)