Period Pain Exericse 4 Gaia pose
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Pelvic floor exercises for Period pain

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Do you have pain or discomfort during or around the time of your period? Try these pelvic floor exercises for period pain for immediate relief!

Pelvic floor exercises for low back pain during period

Why Do I have Low back pain during my Period?

Possible Considerations:

1. Uterine Contractions

During your monthly menstrual cycle, your uterine lining builds up to prepare for pregnancy. If you don’t become pregnant, your body will begin to shed this build up of this lining and pass blood and uterine tissue through the cervix and vagina. During this process, your uterus will contract to help. These uterus contractions can lead to painful lower abdominal or low back pain.

2. Hormonal changes

Progesterone can cause ligaments and tendons to become more lax, which can lead to less stability in your joints, including the sacroiliac (S.I. Joints).

3. Potentially, Uterus Position

During menstruation, the uterus gets 10-15% large in size (www.healthline.com) and potentially sits a bit lower as the cervix is lower and harder. These changes are slight, but if there is already some degree of prolapse occurring, this lower position of the uterus can put more pressure on nerves and refer pain to the lower back or down into the legs.

What can I do to relieve my period-related low back pain?

There are several options for relieving low back pain during your period, but for this post, I am going to focus on 7 exercises that have really helped my low back pain and leg pain during my period.

Pelvic floor exercises for Period Pain Exercise Flow:

  1. A low pressure fitness pose, called Artemis
  2. A slow and long hamstring stretch, termed Standing Forward Fold
  3. A seated low pressure fitness pose called, Hestia
  4. Another low pressure fitness pose called, Gaia
  5. The cat/camel exercise
  6. A slow and long piriformis and hip flexor stretch in Pigeon Pose
  7. A slow and long Seated Forward Fold

Try These pelvic floor Exercises for period pain!

1. Artemis Pose

  1. Stand with feet in line with shoulders with slight bend in your knees and weight shifted slightly forward onto your toes
    • Place your hands just above your knees with finger tips facing one another
    • Elbows should be slightly bent
    • Press your shoulder blades out and away and keep arms rounded as if you are hugging a barrel
    • Bend over forward until you can look at your belly button
    • Here you will do as many rounds as you like:
      • 2-3 decompression breaths
      • Followed by apnea after full exhale
      • Hold breath for 4-6 seconds (or as long as you like)
      • Press through hands to grow during crown of head throughout apnea
    • Feel the release in your low back!
Period pain exercise Gaia Pose

2. Standing Forward Fold/Forward Hang (hamstring stretch)

  • You can transition from the position above
  • Knees can be straight or slightly bent (whatever is most comfortable)
  • Slide hands down to the floor (or as far as you can go down your leg)
  • You can also grab your opposite elbows and hang in the forward fold, allowing gravity to give you a deeper stretch
  • Hold for as long as you feel is appropriate for you
    • If it has been awhile since you have stretched, I recommend building the length of time slowly, starting with only 10 second holds
    • For me, I typically stay here for several minutes at a time
  • Continue doing decompression breathing throughout this stretch!
Period Pain exercise 2 Forward Fold hamstring stretch

3. Hestia Pose (seated pose)

  • Transition to sitting on the floor or mat with your legs crossed
    • If you need to sit on a yoga block or pillow for comfort, please do so
  • Sit up tall, aligning ears over shoulders
  • Ankles should be in dorsiflexion (ankle and toes flexed back toward you)
  • Hands can be placed on your knees with fingers facing toward each other
  • Shoulder blades should be spread out and wide
  • Elbows are slightly bent
  • Here you will do as many rounds as you like:
    • 2-3 decompression breaths
    • Followed by apnea after full exhale
    • Hold breath for 4-6 seconds (or as long as you like)
    • Press through hands to grow during crown of head throughout apnea
  • Feel the release in your low back!
Period pain exercise 3 Hestia pose

4. Gaia Pose (hands and knees)

  • You can be on your hands and knees or you can perform in an even more anti-gravity position with your forearms resting on the floor, forming a triangle above your head and the head resting on the floor
  • Shoulder blades spread out and wide
  • Toes resting on the ground
  • Weight shifted slightly forward
  • Here you will do as many rounds as you like:
    • 2-3 decompression breaths
    • Followed by apnea after full exhale
    • Hold breath for 4-6 seconds (or as long as you like)
    • Press through hands to grow during crown of head throughout apnea
  • Feel the release in your low back!
Period Pain Exericse 4 Gaia pose

5. Cat/Camel Pose- focusing on the Camel portion

  • Remain on your hands and knees
  • Alternate slowly from anterior to posterior pelvic tilting
  • Hold the position that feels like a nice stretch in your lower back
Period pain exercise 5 camel pose

6. Pigeon Pose Stretch (piriformis stretch)

  • There are a few ways you can stretch your piriformis, so if you don’t feel comfortable with the pigeon pose stretch, I will list a few alternate ways of stretching
  • Pigeon pose:
    • From the seated position, place one leg infront of you, forming a 90 deg angle of your hip and knee and the other leg extended straight behind you
    • Here you can alternate between keeping your torso up tall and folding your torso down over your front leg. This will help you achieve a good hip flexor stretch on the leg behind, and a good hip external rotator stretch on the leg in front.
  • Other Options
    • Lying Supine:
      1. Lie on your back with both knees bent
        • Cross one leg over the opposite knee, placing the heel just above the knee and forming a figure 4 with the top leg
        • Use your hand to press your knee away
        • Repeat on the other side
      2. Lie on your back with both knees bent
        • Cross one leg over the opposite knee, placing the heel just above the knee and forming the same figure 4 position
        • Reach through and behind the bottom leg and pull that leg up toward your chest, using your hands
        • Repeat on the other side
      3. Lie on your back with your legs straight
        • Use one hand to guide the knee of one leg toward the opposite shoulder, keeping your back and hips on the floor
        • Repeat on the other side
    • For all of these stretches, I recommend starting with a shorter hold of 10 seconds and progressing as you feel able.
Period Pain Exericse 6 Pigeon Pose

7. Seated Forward fold

  • Come back to sitting and sit with your legs crossed
  • Fold forward placing your hands on the floor and reaching as far out in front of you as you can
  • Again, hold this stretch for a duration that is comfortable and feels right for you!
  • Continue with your decompression breathing throughout theses stretches
Period pain exercise 7 seated forward fold

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References

  1. (2018, September 24). Does a Uterus Really Double in Size During Menstruation? Www.Healthline.com. Retrieved October 29, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/does-uterus-double-in-size-during-menstuation
  2. Dufour S, Vandyken B, Forget MJ, Vandyken C. Association between lumbopelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction in women: A cross sectional study. Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2018 Apr;34:47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2017.12.001. Epub 2017 Dec 9. PMID: 29268147.

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