Cramps are an inevitable part of almost every woman’s life. Each month, without fail, you feel your period before it begins. Cramps are usually felt in the abdomen or the lower back. They last anywhere from one to three days. For some women, cramps are merely a nuisance, something that is annoying but doesn’t affect your life. For other women, severe cramps send them to bed for a day or two each month. While you probably can’t totally rid your life of cramps, there are some things you can do to help ease the pain.
While you are having cramps:
Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, usually help to lessen the pain.
Use a heating pad or a hot water bottle and apply heat directly to your abdomen or lower back.
Try different positions. You might find lying on your side with your knees bent helps relieve the pain or you might find another position feels better. Try sitting and lying down in different positions to find what works best for you.
A few weeks ago in a telephone conversation with my mom, she mentioned that one of my sisters had been having some problems with her stomach for the last month or so. Being concerned, I called my sister directly to talk to her about what was going on.
"I don't know," she said. I'm eating a healthy diet, but for the last month or so I've had a lot of diarrhea and even some vomiting. And my stomach hurts so much after I eat that I just don't want to eat anymore."
"What are you eating?" I asked.
"You know, healthy stuff. Fruits and vegetables and high fiber bread."
I explained to her that a healthy diet isn't healthy if it's making you sick. And if it's making you sick then you have to do something to figure out what is causing the symptoms. First, change what you're eating so that you can eat and get some nourishment into your body. And second, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to discuss the problems.
"It's especially important to see a GI...
Last week, I had my monthly massage with Ruth. I love going to see her because (a) she’s become a friend; (b) massages (for the most part) feel really good; and (c) I get a chance to analyze what’s happening with my body when she hits a pressure point or finds a muscle that’s really tight. This month, I asked Ruth to pay attention to my legs. “My hamstring muscles have been really tight as of late,” I told her during our pre-massage discussion. “They haven’t been cramping, but they feel like they are thinking about it.”
So why would they have been tightening up? Ruth’s guess was that these muscles were reacting to the extra mile that I’ve added to my daily walk with my dog. And – surprisingly – she found that my calf muscles were much tighter than my hamstrings.
So what is muscle stiffness? “Muscle stiffness is [the] feeling of tension and contraction in the muscles, that may limit normal range of motion,&rd...
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