Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Alternative therapeutic approaches to menstrual cramps include:

  • Exercise. Studies have found that physical activity may ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used in China to relieve pain for more than 2,000 years. Some studies have found that acupuncture effectively relieves menstrual cramps.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). A TENS device raises the threshold for pain signals and stimulates the release of endorphins, your body's natural painkillers. In studies, TENS has been found more effective than placebo in relieving the pain associated with menstrual cramps.
  • Dietary supplements. A number of studies have indicated that vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B-6 and magnesium supplements may effectively reduce menstrual cramps.
May. 03, 2011