Current study: Regular use of a treadmill reduces menstrual pain

How can pain be alleviated during the period?

Women often experience pain and other discomfort during the period. Current research has now shown that running on a treadmill three times a week can significantly reduce menstrual cramps in women.

Anglia Ruskin University's latest research found that using a treadmill in women can reduce menstrual cramps. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Contemporary Clinical Trials".

How do pains develop during the period?

When women used a treadmill three times a week, they had 22 percent less menstrual pain after six months than women who didn't exercise. Periodic pain or primary dysmenorrhea affect half of the women and is probably caused by an inflow of so-called prostaglandins, the researchers report. Prostaglandins cause the blood vessels in the uterus to narrow, which prevents oxygen from getting into the tissues of the uterus and causes pain. It is generally believed that exercise flushes out these prostaglandins. This promotes the supply of the uterus with oxygen-rich blood. Often women who experience pain during the period avoid exercise.

70 women with primary dysmenorrhea participated in the study

The study examined 70 women between the ages of 18 and 43 who were diagnosed with primary dysmenorrhea. The primary form of the disease is characterized by the fact that pain occurs during each cycle and there is no other disorder. Younger women are most affected by primary dysmenorrhea, which can also cause mood swings, diarrhea, and even nausea and vomiting. So-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin are usually recommended as a treatment, followed by the pill. Secondary dysmenorrhea, by definition, is caused by a disease of a woman's reproductive system, such as endometriosis or fibroids.

After four weeks, pain was reduced by six percent

The participants had to run on a treadmill three times a week with 70 to 85 percent of their maximum heart rate for six months. Their results were then compared to a control group that did no such exercises. The researchers found that women who used a treadmill experienced six percent less pain after four weeks. The pain reduction increased as the investigation progressed. The study showed that physical activity significantly relieved the pain of the women participating in the program, and there was a significant reduction in pain after four and seven months, the authors report. The improvement in quality of life after seven months was remarkable. (as)

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Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Priya Kannan, Cathy M. Chapple, Dawn Miller, Leica Claydon-Mueller, G. David Baxter: Effectiveness of a treadmill-based aerobic exercise intervention on pain, daily functioning, and quality of life in women with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled trial , in Contemporary Clinical Trials, Contemporary Clinical Trials

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