While body pain is common for men and women, the types of pain and available treatments can differ. This article will explore two of the most common body pains women experience, as well as the various available treatments.
Data shows that women get headaches thrice as much as men. The reproductive system of women is regulated by estrogen. This hormone also controls brain chemicals related to pain. Hence, when the estrogen level falls, this can trigger a headache lasting between four to 72 hours.
Estrogen levels in women fall drastically just before each woman’s period. That is why a lot of women get migraines at this time. This monthly occurrence covers approximately 40 years of a woman’s life.
Other periods of estrogen drops are during pregnancy, after childbirth, in perimenopause, and in menopause. Women of childbearing age who take oral contraceptives are also susceptible to estrogen drops.
Other triggers of chronic headaches include:
- Poor posture
- Lack of exercise
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Irregular eating patterns
- Constant exposure to glare
- Constant exposure to noise
- Food sensitivities, with common issues against aged cheeses, alcohol, chocolate, and aspartame
- Certain medications
Back issues can also be one cause of your chronic headaches. If this is the case, you can consult a chiropractor for headaches triggered by poor posture and overexertion. Body manipulation can help ease your headaches. You will also be taught proper posture and body movement to prevent your problem from recurring. You may need several sessions for your body to adapt and learn what to incorporate into your daily posture and movements.
If you lack exercise and have an irregular eating pattern, consult a fitness and nutrition coach. This professional can design a fitness and eating program based on your current capabilities and build on that as you progress. If you are dehydrated, you must be mindful of drinking water throughout the day.
You must also check for food sensitivities by doing tests on each of the common food triggers for headaches. Once you have identified what your triggers are, you must stay away from them. When you are eating out, check that the food you are ordering does not contain these ingredients.
If you have an irregular sleeping pattern, check with your dentist to rule out sleep apnea. That is a condition where you stop breathing for a few seconds up to 30 times every hour at night. As a result, your sleep is constantly disrupted as you wake up gasping or snorting.
If you do not have this problem, regular exercise may help you sleep better at night. Also, wind down your activities two hours before bedtime. Ensure that your bedroom has blackout curtains so that you are in total darkness as you sleep. Go to bed and wake up at the same time daily.
If you have constant exposure to glare, such as from your computer, adjust your screen. Switch to dark mode. Get glasses that filter out blue light. Adjust overhead light. If the glare comes from a window, cover it with shades or a curtain.
If you have constant exposure to noise, install sound-muffling curtains. If the noise is within your immediate environment, wear noise-canceling headphones. It is best if you can remove yourself from that environment.
If anxiety is causing your headaches, it is essential to consult a professional therapist. If you are taking medications, ask your doctor if any of them could be causing your headaches.
If none of these work, consult a doctor who specializes in chronic headaches. They can prescribe medications that can prevent or at least minimize the occurrence of your headaches. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, one of the possible treatments includes the injection of botox in several areas in the head and neck.
Dysmenorrhea, commonly known as cramps, is characterized by lower abdominal pain that can radiate to the back and legs. The pain can be so severe that it interferes with a woman’s daily activities. Dysmenorrhea has two types: primary and secondary.
Primary dysmenorrhea is when a woman experiences pain during her first few menstrual cycles. It is caused by the uterus’ reaction to prostaglandins, which are hormones that cause the uterus to contract. The contractions push out the uterine lining. These contractions are necessary to expel the uterine lining. However, in some women, the contractions can be too strong, resulting in severe pain.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is when a woman experiences pain during her later menstrual cycles. It is caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
The available treatments for dysmenorrhea include:
- Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Prescription medications, such as birth control pills and vaginal ring
- Natural remedies, such as heating pads and warm baths
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the cause of the pain. For example, if endometriosis is the cause of the pain, laparoscopic surgery can be done to remove the tissue that is causing the pain. Endometriosis can only be diagnosed through a pelvic exam. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent the condition from worsening.
Get Help as Soon as Possible
If you experience chronic headaches or frequent dysmenorrhea, it is best to consult a doctor. These conditions can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. However, there are many available treatments that can help manage the pain. Don’t suffer in silence. Get help as soon as possible.