Menstrual pain, medically known as dysmenorrhea, is defined by pain that is experienced before, during, or after the monthly menstrual period. It is more common at the start of puberty, during your teen years. And, it is seen to get better as the women get older.
The menstrual pain is cramping in nature. It is experienced more regularly in the lower part of the abdomen and seems to travel down to the legs. However, menstrual pain can also involve the lower back quite frequently as well. The menstrual pain occurs two days before the beginning of menstruation. Furthermore, it tends to continue for about two to three days after menstruation has started. The menstrual flow is often associated with mood swings, headache, nausea, frequent urination, constipation, or diarrhea.
Menstrual pain is caused by the contraction of the uterus which is trying to push the blood out of itself. The contraction of the uterus is triggered by the prostaglandins, produced by the uterus. Prostaglandins are chemical substances that are often associated with the process of inflammation. They stimulate the pain receptors that is experienced during the menstrual cycle, and known as menstrual pain.
Generally, most women will turn towards drugs to get relief from the menstrual pain, particularly the Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Examples of these NSAIDS include over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen. However, most women will like to try alternative therapies to treat the menstrual pain rather than medicines.
The most popular alternative therapy used to relief menstrual pain is the use of acupuncture. According to the acupuncture theory, menstrual pain is caused by the difference in the flow of energy, known as Chi, as well as blood. The menstrual pain is divided into two categories based on the cause. On one hand, menstrual pain is caused due to the stagnation of Chi and blood within the body. On the other hand, deficiency of Chi and blood is the cause.
Chi and blood stagnation produces severe cramping menstrual pain. It is also associated with other symptoms which include severe mood swings, bloating, abdominal distention, breast tenderness, belching, and a purplish discoloration of the tongue. In this case, the meridians used for acupuncture are LV 2, LV 3, CV 6, CV 3, GB 34, SP 6 and SP 8.
On the other hand, deficiency of Chi and blood cases a stabbing menstrual pain without breast tenderness. Other associated symptoms include clots in menstrual blood and abdominal pain. For this, meridian points used for acupuncture includes ST 29, CV 6, SP6, SP 10, and LV 3.