Heating Pad for Cramps: 2 Effective Reasons to Use It

A heating pad is preferred to soothe the pain for a long time for cramps. Menstrual pain is not a matter of a joke. Menstrual cramps can cause discomfort to your lower abdomen and lower back. Heat has been shown to relieve period cramps, relax muscles and provide comfort. Period cramps can be mild or severe, depending on the individual.

However, most people have experienced period cramps that affect their daily activities. A heating pad for cramps, home remedies, and medicine are some ways of menstrual pain relief. If you also suffer from painful menstrual cramps then you should try a heating pad.

1. About Menstrual Cramps

During menstruation, there are muscular contractions when the uterus sheds its lining, and people experience period cramps. Menstrual cramps are the most common cause of period pain, ranging from headaches to general discomfort.

Period cramps are intense, continuous, stabbing aches felt in the lower abdomen, thighs, and lower back. Cramps are most commonly felt right before or at the start of each cycle.

The last one to three days on average. They may begin strong and improve as the hours pass, or they may appear and disappear anytime.

2. Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps can cause the following symptoms:

periods pain
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

(i) Pain in your lower abdomen that stabs or cramps and can be pretty severe,

(ii) A feeling of nausea and vomiting

(iii) Pain that is dull or causes a constant discomfort

(iv) Having a headache

(v) Pain that extends to your thighs and lowers your back

(vi) Feeling dizzy

(vii) Diarrhea

(viii) Sweating

3. Some Reasons For Menstrual Pain

The menstrual pain varies from person to person as well as according to their health conditions. So there can be varying reasons for menstrual pain. Some of the reasons could be:

  1. If a child reaches puberty before the age of eleven,
  2. If you experience irregular periods,
  3. If you smoke,
  4. If you have heavy bleeding during your periods.
  5. If you have a family record of painful periods.

Period pain could also be the result of a medical problem. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help you overcome these medical conditions.

The following are some of the most prevalent medical issues that women may encounter are

3.1. PCOS or PCOD

3.1.1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women between 12 and 51. There is an increase in male hormones in females that causes severe cases of irregular ovulation, unusual hair growth, and many more.

3.1.2. Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)

PCOD is a disorder in which a woman’s ovaries generate enormous quantities of undeveloped or partly developed eggs, which develop into cysts in the ovaries1 over time.

In this case, also there is an increase in male hormones that leads to weight gain, hair loss, and risk of infertility.

PCOD and PCOS both influence ovulation and the ovaries in the following ways

a) Cysts in the ovaries

b) Male hormones are at an all-time high.

c) Periods that have been skipped or are irregular

3.2. Fibroid

Uterine fibroids are fibroids that form in the uterus. They are noncancerous growths that can cause uterine compression. Fibroid can cause heavy periods and intense menstrual cramps because they develop in the uterine lining2.

3.3. Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is an uncommon disorder in which the uterine lining develops into the uterine muscle wall, leading to inflammation, discomfort, and severe cramping. It might also result in heavier or prolonged periods.

3.4. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

PMS is a common ailment caused by hormone fluctuations in the body3 that occur one to two weeks before menstruation. After the bleeding starts, the symptoms usually fade away. PMS is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including exhaustion, mood swings, and menstrual cramps.

3.5. Cervical Stenosis

It is an uncommon disorder in which the cervix is so tiny or narrow that it delays menstrual flow and causes pain inside the uterus. Some of the symptoms are irregularity in periods, period pain, and unusual bleeding.

4. About Heating Pad For Cramps

Different regions of the body can benefit from external heat therapy with heating pads. Heating pads can assist in reducing menstrual pain and relax aching muscles and joints. Electrical, fluid, chemical, and gel heating pads are available in various sizes and varieties. Because heat therapy dilates blood vessels, applying heat to an injured area can enhance circulation.

Pain relief can be aided by using heat therapy and cold therapy. You can also soak your lower abdomen in a hot or cold bath to relieve menstruation cramps. Lower back discomfort can be eased by switching between hot and cold therapy.

A heating pad for cramps is available at any local pharmacy. The use of an electric heating pad or applying heat is a great option.

4.1. Benefits of Using a Heating Pad

Cramps can wreak havoc and hamper your day-to-day activities. The heating pad is revolutionary. The use of a heating pad can assist in relaxing the muscles in your uterus. Cramping is caused by these muscles.

According to some research, utilizing an electric heating pad, hot water bottle, or heating patch is more helpful for cramp relief than taking pain medicines (ibuprofen). Heat pads relieve menstrual cramps quite effectively.

Some of the benefits of using a heating pad 4are:

4.1.1. Increase Blood Flow

When the uterus contracts strongly, the blood flow reduces, which causes severe pain. Heat increases blood flow to the uterus. The increased blood flow relaxes your muscles and eases the contractions. Applying a heating pad is a good option as it relieves menstrual pain.

4.1.2 Reduces Mood Swings

According to certain studies, women who use a heating pad for cramps have experienced less exhaustion and mood fluctuations.

5. Precautions to Take While Using a Heating Pad

There are a few things to keep in mind when utilizing heating pads:

  1. Please start with the lowest setting on an electric heating pad and gradually increase it, remembering to set a timer so you don’t leave it on for too long.
  2. Any heating pad should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Do not sleep while using the heating pad as carelessness can lead to severe injuries or accidents.
  4. Do not apply directly to the skin. Try to use a cloth and then apply the heat.

6. How to Use a Heating Pad

Heating pads vary according to their type and brand. Here is one of the ways to use a heating pad:

Step 1: Take the electric heating pad first. Some heating pads include washable covers, and this cloth will also protect your skin from direct heat exposure.

Step 2: Some heating pads may be linked to Velcro elastic straps so that they can be worn around your lower abdomen. Because of its elasticity, the straps may be changed to fit your requirements.

Step 3: Connect the wire to the switch and apply heat for 20 minutes at a time. The up and down arrow keys on the remote attached to your heating pad can be used to alter the temperature.

Keep in mind

  1. When using the heating pad, make sure you don’t fall asleep.
  2. Avoid direct contact with your skin so that burns or other injuries can be avoided. Take a break while using the heating pad.

7. Homemade Heating Pad For Cramps

7.1. Sock And Rice

DIY Microwaveable Heating Pad (Using Rice and a Tube Sock!)

Step 1: Take a used or unused sock.

Step 2: Stuff the socks with any rice you like.

Step 3: You can add a few drops of essential oil if you desire. You can use lavender oil as it is suitable for relaxing, anxiety, menstrual cramps, and many other issues.

Step 4: After putting in some rice, knead them with your palms to thoroughly mix them.

Step 5: Add some more rice, then fold the end of the socks and rub them thoroughly. Do not fill the entire sock with rice.

Step 6: Heat the socks in the microwave for 2 minutes and use them as a heating pad for cramps.

7.2. Towel

Step 1: Take two towels as a first step. Soak the towels in water and squeeze out any excess.

Step 2: Place one damp towel in a Ziploc bag.

Step 3: Place the bag in the microwave for 2 minutes without sealing it.

Step 4: Carefully remove the bag from the oven, seal it, and put the other towel around it.

Step 5: For up to 20 minutes, place it over your abdomen and use it as a heating pad for cramps.

8. Other Ways to Relieve Period Cramps

Period cramps can be alleviated by using some simple home treatments.

yoga for periods cramps
Photo by Alexy Almond from Pexels

9. Concluding Thoughts

Heating pad for cramps
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Heating pads come in a variety of styles and sizes. It can be readily available in any pharmacy, or you can order it from any online store. Heating pads can be used on many parts of the body. It helps in pain relief, cramp relief, and joint aches. A girl or a woman may undergo menstrual pain every month.

So, if used carefully, then a heating pad for cramps is an excellent source of pain relief.

Always strive to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and set aside time for stress-relieving self-care activities. Some people experience menstrual pain while others do not share it; hence it varies from person to person. If you notice anything unusual or your cramps do not subside, you should see a doctor.

I hope that this article has provided you with some information regarding a heating pad’s effectiveness for cramps. I hope it will help you soothe your menstrual cramps.

10. FAQs

Q1. Does a Heating Pad Help With Cramps?

Yes, using a heating pad will help in reducing cramp pain.

Q2. How Long to Apply Heat to Cramps?

Use a towel between the heating pad and your skin to prevent pain and burns. As with the ice, turn on the heat for about 20 minutes at a time. Keeping these helpful tips in your back pocket will help you get off the bench and back on your fitness path before you know it.

Q3. Can I Sleep With a Heating Pad?

It is not safe to sleep with a heating pad as it can cause skin burns. Yes, using a heating pad feels good, but it should only take a few minutes. However, if you leave it on your body for a long time, your skin may feel warm after a while.

Best 6 Foods That May Relieve Menstrual Cramps
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  1. Kesler, D. J., and H. A. Garverick. “Ovarian cysts in dairy cattle: a review.” Journal of animal science 55.5 (1982): 1147-1159. ↩︎
  2. Rodriguez, I., C. Jimenez, and A. Hernandez. “A microscopical study of uterine lining modification, binucleate cell numbers and trophoblastic development, at day 14, 20 and 24 of gestation in single and multiple pregnancies in sheep.” Small Ruminant Research 35.2 (2000): 163-168. ↩︎
  3. Gill, M. S., Thalange, N. K. S., Foster, P. J., Tillmann, V., Price, D. A., Diggle, P. J., & Clayton, P. E. (1999). Regular fluctuations in growth hormone (GH) release determine normal human growth. Growth Hormone & IGF Research9(2), 114-122. ↩︎
  4. Ting, Joseph Yuk Sang. “The rewarming benefit of anterior torso heat pad application in mildly hypothermic conscious adult trauma patients remains inconclusive.” Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 20 (2012): 1-2. ↩︎

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