Female Climber Series: Menstrual Pain/Cramps before or during Menstruation
Menstrual pain or cramps are a common symptom just before or during menstruation. For obvious reasons, this can have a negative effect on climbing and training.
Menstrual cramps can be distracting, can make wearing a harness or weight belt uncomfortable, or can be so bad that we literally don’t want to get out of bed!
Pain relief aside, there are some approaches that have been shown to improve menstrual cramps and pain that could be worth experimenting with!
1- Try loosening the hamstrings, hip adductors and psoas muscles.
As climbers we use all these muscles and they may get tight. Stretching routines that lengthen these muscles that either connect to the pelvis or impact the position of the pelvis have been shown to help reduce pain in some studies.
2- Keep moving!
Gentle movement can be affective for reducing cramps. Some relatively easy, low angled climbing could be beneficial for climbers who experience painful periods.
3- Omega 3.
Supplementing with Omega-3 may help reduce menstrual pain when taken over a few cycles.
~ Photo by Ollie Torr
Remember to experiment with different tactics, and track your cycle each month, to really see what makes a difference for you over time. Each cycle can vary so much, from person to person and from each cycle, so keep trying to find what works for you!
Apps myself and other female at Lattice use are: