Dysmenorrhea or period pain is a monthly occurring phenomenon in a female’s reproductive life. Most, if not all, females experience cramps every time they go through their menstrual cycle, and as such, different cultures have developed ways of dealing with such pain.
For example, in Unani (Greco-Arabic) medicine, Usr-i-tamth is pain associated with menstruation. The pain management techniques involve dry cupping, hot fomentation, and medicinal herbs with antispasmodic, analgesic properties such as ginger, rose, cumin, and so on. Other cultures in ancient Asia and Egypt used opium for religious and pain relief purposes.
In addition to the pain management techniques, hot water bottles have become a staple, home remedy for menstrual cramps. Meanwhile, many anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, provide an instant and lasting relief but have long-term side effects.
However, as our technology developed over time, we also found ways to create solutions to improve our overall health and lifestyle. This article explores a more modern approach that uses innovative devices to help alleviate pain from menstrual cramping.
Nua Cramp Comfort
Nua is a Mumbai-based company that recently launched the Cramp Comfort, a stick-on heating patch for relieving dysmenorrhea. A box of the heating patch has three pieces, with each piece consisting of iron, activated carbon, vermiculite, and salt.
The company also boasts of the patches being 100% natural, making the product easily decomposable. As soon as the patch is removed from its packet and comes in contact with air, it releases heat for eight hours through oxidation. The Cramp Comfort is available for $3.03.
Rael Herbal Heating Patch
Similarly, Rael has its own Heating Patch that uses a combination of herbs such as dandelion root, jasmine, and lemon balm to alleviate the pain. Like other heating patches, these patches release heat as soon as they come in contact with the air.
Rael’s Heating Patches are also recyclable, with the main selling point of it being free of chemicals that can potentially have side effects. Currently, a single pack that has three patches will cost $5.40, while a purchase of six packs or 18 pieces will cost $27.
If you are looking for a more permanent solution to manage your pain, then Livia would be a good call. This wearable device works on the “gate control theory of pain” which means that it helps nerve gates that send the pain signals from the brain. This also prevents the pain from being felt.
Livia is available in three colors and it comes with a cable with two small patches attached at the end. The patches are placed, not more than 10cm apart, on the areas that ache. Within fifteen minutes, the patches will start stimulating the nerves to block pain. The device is available and currently priced at $129.
UTK Infrared Jade Heating Waist Wrap
The UTK Infrared Jade Heating Waist Wrap uses far-infrared (FIR) therapy to relieve pain. The belt has a heating pad with twenty jade stones and is also designed for lower backaches, a problem that can be caused by menstrual cramps.
After the belt is plugged into an electrical source, the pad will get heated until the stones start emitting far-infrared rays. These rays will penetrate deep into the skin and relax the muscle in pain. Apart from that, the temperature on the Infrared Jade Heating Waist Wrap can be adjusted from 103°F to 159°F. Currently, the waist wrap is priced at $79.
The Original Sack
If you want a more flexible use of a hot pad, then Sacksy Thyme has The Original Sack. It is a herb-infused, microwavable heating pad that’s made with dried cherry pits and flaxseeds. Just pop the sack in the microwave for less than two minutes, and the heat should last for at least an hour.
The Original Sack is like a little bean bag pillow that molds onto the body part they sit on. The heating pads will also release a mild aroma coming from the cherry pits. This reusable heating pad can be reheated in the microwave and is priced at $29.99.
Finally, Warmies makes it to the list as a heatable apparatus with a twist. While it’s definitely cute as a plush toy, this item works like a heating pad. All you need to do is pop the plush in the microwave for about a minute for it to stay warm for a long time.
Warmies, by Intelex, is made with flaxseed and French lavender, which is popularly used as a scent to help in falling asleep. While it isn’t necessarily marketed specifically for menstrual cramps, its heating and soothing capabilities can relieve muscle aches. If anything, it’s also great to hug when you’re stressed or in pain. This adorably warm and soothing plush is available starting at $16.99.
These are just some of the many devices out there that can help lessen menstrual pains when it’s that time of the month. Ladies, what was your favorite from the list? If your go-to product wasn’t able to make it on the list, feel free to write and share your thoughts with us on social media.
Photo credit: The feature image has been taken by Jonathan Borba.
Sources: Arshiya Sultana, Syed Lamatunoor, Mazherunnisa Begum, and Q. N. Qhuddsia (National Center for Biotechnology Information) / Rainer Sabatowski, Daniel Schäfer, Mario Kasper, H Brunsch, Lukas Radbruch (ResearchGate) / Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (National Center for Biotechnology Information) / Peir Hossein Koulivand, Maryam Khaleghi Ghadiri, and Ali Gorji (National Center for Biotechnology Information)