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Do Muscle Relaxers Help Menstrual Cramps?

Do Muscle Relaxers Help Menstrual Cramps?


Yes, muscle relaxers help with menstrual cramps associated with primary dysmenorrhea. They work by relaxing the abdomen and pelvic muscles, thus providing relief within 30 minutes. 



Dealing with menstrual pain can be a monthly struggle for many women, often disrupting their daily activities. While many remedies are sought to get quicker relief, the question is whether muscle relaxers such as the Soma pill can help with period cramps.  

In this blog, we look into the potential benefits of using muscle relaxers for managing menstrual cramps while focusing on helping countless individuals navigate through the challenges of period pain. 


Learning About Soma Pill And Period Cramps- What Causes Them?

Carisoprodol is a centrally acting muscle relaxer retailed under the brand name Soma pill. The prescription use of the Soma muscle relaxer is for short-term skeletomuscular acute pain. People can order Soma pills for treating conditions such as migraine, fibromyalgia, and lower back pain. 

Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, are throbbing pain in the lower abdomen and are caused by uterine contraction. When the chemical “Prostaglandin” makes the uterus contract, it causes pain. It further prevents the oxygen from reaching the uterus, resulting in cramps. 

The science of menstrual cramps is shown below in the image to help you understand how it occurs. 



In most cases, during the menstrual cycle, the strong contraction of the uterus can press against nearby blood vessels, thus cutting off the oxygen supply to the muscle tissue [4]. These factors largely contribute to your period discomfort. 

There are two subgroups of dysmenorrhea- primary and secondary. Properly understanding and knowledge of which type of dysmenorrhea you are struggling with are essential to help find the best muscle relaxer for period cramps. 

  • Primary Dysmenorrhea is a cramp caused by a “natural” or “normal” uterine muscle contraction. Prostaglandin hormones trigger these contractions. Some people, during their menstrual cycle, overproduce prostaglandins, thus leading to worse cramping.

  • Secondary Dysmenorrhea results from other factors (other than typical uterine muscle contraction). Such cramps may arise due to polyps, fibroids, endometriosis (when the uterus cells grow in other body parts), and intrauterine devices (IUDs). 

It is essential to note that Muscle relaxers primarily help with treating Primary Dysmenorrhea, while the underlying conditions associated with secondary menstrual cramps require medical attention. 



Did you Know?

  • A study on the prevalence of menstrual pain in young women indicates that 84.1% of women suffer from menstrual cramps, whereas 43.1% experience regular discomfort.

  • According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, about half of menstruate women suffer from cramping during the first few days [2]. 

  • A study determines the efficacy of muscle relaxers in diminishing the severity of back pain during dysmenorrhea.



Symptoms Of Period Cramps

While menstrual cramps are easy to recognise, there are still a few notable symptoms associated with this common discomfort. 

  • Suffering from a throbbing pain in the lower abdomen. 

  • Pain that starts 2 to 3 days before the period and peaks 24 hours after the onset of the menstruation 

  • Continuous pain.

  • Pain moving the abdomen to the thighs. 

A few people may also experience dizziness, nausea, headache, and loose motion. 


Soma Muscle Relaxer For Uterine Cramps- How Do Soma Muscle Relaxers Help With Period Cramps?

The uterus is a muscular organ, thus making muscle relaxers such as the Soma pill an excellent treatment option for cramps and discomfort. In fact, Doctor Jacqueline Thielen says anything that helps relax muscles can be beneficial for menstrual cramps [3]. 

Periods are idiosyncratic (a behavior distinct to an individual); therefore, what works for one person may not result effectively in another. However, all women share a specific root cause: uterine muscle contraction. 

During the menstrual cycle, the uterus contracts to assist in removing its lining. In this course, the prostaglandin hormone elevates, resulting in inflammation, pain, and uterine muscle contractions. Soma Muscle relaxers decrease the muscle tone, act on the muscle fibers, and help them relax, thus inducing relief from pain. They also help by relaxing the smooth muscle, which results in cramps. 


Best Prescription Muscle Relaxer For Menstrual Cramps- Alternative To Soma Pill 

Apart from the Soma pill, the two other muscle relaxers that can be beneficial in relieving menstrual cramps include Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) and Baclofen. 

How Will Flexeril Help With Period Cramps? 

Flexeril, also known as cyclobenzaprine, is often taken with rest and physical therapy to manage acute pain effectively. Cyclobenzaprine provides menstrual cramps relief within 1 hour of administration [6]. Its action is similar to the Soma pill and provides relief from period cramps by working on the central nervous system.

The adult dose of cyclobenzaprine or Flexeril is 10 mg 3 times a day. 

How Will Baclofen Help With Period Cramps? 

An anti-spasmodic muscle relaxer such as Baclofen effectively treats menstrual and abdominal cramps. They work on the Central Nervous system to calm the nerve activity and relieve menstrual pain. 

However, the use of Baclofen for cramps must be done under the supervision of a physician. 



When Should You Talk To A Doctor About Period Pain?

Any signs and symptoms here can indicate severe or chronic menstrual cramps. You should consult a doctor if you are dealing with the following conditions. 

  • If the cramp lasts for more than 3 to 5 days.

  • In case you experience it later in your life.

  • When usual pain medications fail to relieve cramps and period pain.

  • If the pain moves to your legs and back.



Patient's Testimonials On Relieving Menstrual Cramps with Muscle Relaxers 

A Quora user "Gwen Stratus" shares her experience, saying most pain medications, such as NSAIDs, failed to provide effective relief, whereas muscle relaxers worked wonders.  

Another user on the platform Quora, "Agostina Leita," however, contradicts the use of muscle relaxers for period cramps, suggesting it arises from smooth muscle contract and not skeletal muscle. 

Dr. Tanvi Nimkar, in the same Quora discussion, says that the use of muscle relaxers may help, but exercising for 15 to 20 minutes can help further.  


Limitations Of Soma Muscle Relaxers For Menstrual Cramps

Although using muscle relaxers has shown exemplary results in managing cramps and body pain, they still have certain limitations.  

  • Using muscle relaxers such as the Soma pill is ineffective in managing several premenstrual syndromes in women, such as irritability, mood swings, fatigue, and depression.

  • Long-term use of the muscle relaxer can cause adverse effects in the user, thus resulting in drowsiness, agitation, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and stomach issues. 

  • The Soma pill is also unsafe for women who are lactating, pregnant, or planning to get pregnant. 

  • Women with a history of heart, kidney, and liver disorders should refrain from ingesting the analgesic without consulting a doctor. 

  • Misuse of muscle relaxers can increase the possibility of abuse and dependency. 


Tips For Treating Menstrual Cramps Naturally 

Along with using muscle relaxers, several home remedies can be incorporated into your routine to manage the signs of period pain. Muscle relaxers can be used in conjunction with these therapies, as shown in the image below, for faster results. 



Applying Heat- 

Using heating pads on your abdomen and lower back can help relieve period pain. A study in 2018 indicates the effectiveness of heat therapy in treating menstrual pain. It was seen to show similar benefits as NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) [7]. 

Using Essential Oils- 

Messaging your favorite essential oil for 15 to 20 minutes can help. Massage therapy for period cramps involves rubbing the oil on the abdomen and back and pressing on specific points. 

Myeong Soo Lee et al. found that aromatherapy and massage therapy can help reduce menstrual cramps and pain [8]. Some effective essential oils that may help are rose, fennel, lavender, and peppermint. 

Avoiding Certain Food Items- 

During the menstrual cycle, avoiding food that can cause water retention and bloat is recommended. Some food to avoid during those times is alcohol, fatty food, salty food, caffeine, and carbonated beverages. 

Adding Herbs To Your Diet- 

Several herbs with antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties can reduce muscle contraction and pain associated with the menstrual cycle [7]. 

Some common herbs that can provide effective relief from menstrual cramps are listed in the table below with their scientific evidence. 




Scientific evidence


Incorporate cinnamon into your food or tea, or take about 840mg of capsule thrice daily. 

In 2015, a woman who took cinnamon in her diet reported less pain, nausea, and vomiting. 

Chamomile tea:

Try to sip two cups of chamomile tea a few days before your period. 

According to a study report, using chamomile tea increases the urinary level of glycine, effectively relieving muscle spasms in users.


You can grate the ginger and add it to your warm water or tea. 

A study on students indicates that 250mg of ginger powder four times a day can help with the pain. The same study also concludes that the effectiveness of ginger is similar to ibuprofen. 

Fennel seeds:

You can take 30mg of fennel extracts for three days during your period. 

A study on fennel seeds against placebo showed that women between the ages of 15 and 24 showed relief from pain with fennel extracts.


Incorporating Nutrients And Vitamins-

A growing body of medical science indicates that certain nutrients can alleviate or eliminate menstrual cramps. Some key vitamins that should be incorporated into your diet for managing menstrual cramps are listed below.  

- Vitamin B1

It is one of the well-studied nutrients for cramps. Clinical analysis of over 100 women with dysmenorrhea showed that using Vitamin B1 supplements could lower the severity of cramps by half [9].

- Zinc

A study by Eby in 2007 suggests that using zinc can increase the blood supply to the uterus. The same research reveals that an intake of 31mg of zinc thrice daily has the best outcome for pain relief. This can help in preventing uterine cramps [10].

- Magnesium

Several studies specify the association between muscle and back pain with lower magnesium intake. A daily dose of magnesium helps to prevent dysmenorrhea in some people. It functions by relaxing the smooth muscle of the uterus, thus further reducing the prostaglandins that cause period pain [11]. 

- Vitamin B6

Numerous body enzymatic processes, including the menstrual cycle, involve using Vitamin B6. It helps regulate the hormone and inflammation, easing several menstrual symptoms [9]. 


Can Muscle Relaxers Help Menstrual Cramps- Our Final Thought 

“YES” muscle relaxers for menstrual cramps work, but each of us has a different physiology; thus, what might work for one may not be effective for someone else. They can help by relaxing the abdomen and pelvic muscles and providing relief within 30 minutes of intake. 

Before winding up the blog, let us look at why talking about menstrual cramps and Muscle relaxers as a relief is important.  

Cramp Pain Scale

A website, “menstrual-matters,” has taken a precise approach to assessing the level of pain caused during the menstrual cycle. They state that most women experience “5 to 8” pain during their menstrual cycle, as shown in the image below. 




Now, take a moment to think of all the things you can do if your pain does not limit you. 

With muscle relaxers such as the Soma pill, period pain can be a thing of the past. The Soma pill helps relieve the excruciating pain from your cramps; however, it cannot treat them entirely. If the pain does not diminish with time, it is best to visit a gynecologist.


About Our Author-

Kelly Walker is an award-winning expert with knowledge of Family Medicine. She is keenly interested in talking and discussing pain management, mental health issues, and Nootropics and has been an avid writer for 4 years. 

As a woman, Kelly resonates with the challenges of menstrual pain, thus providing insight tailored to your health needs. 

Kelly Walker graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2011. She is also listed on WebMD and is affiliated with Livingston HealthCare. 

She is also a key contributing member of our site, Healthnaturo, with her work often being recognized and published in journals such as Springers and Researchgate. 

If you have any suggestions or queries about the Soma pill or its effect on menstrual cramps, you can reach Kelly at [email protected].


Yes, the use of muscle relaxers helps with period cramps. The use of Carisoprodol works within 30 minutes of intake.

Doctors commonly prescribe Soma pill as a muscle relaxer, Ibuprofen, anafranil and ketoprofen.

Yes, Cyclobenzaprine can be used for menstrual cramps. However, do take more than 60mg a day.

For severe menstrual pain, most doctors prescribe NSAIDs.

Carisoprodol, Cyclobenzaprine, and Skelaxin are some of the best muscle relaxers for cramps.

Yes, the use of muscle relaxers can help in decreasing the cramp and pain in the pelvis muscle due to endometriosis.

Muscle relaxers and over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can help with endometriosis.

No, the use of muscle relaxers does not affect the menstrual flow and does not make the period heavier.

Muscle relaxers must be used only when you experience a cramp or discomfort. It should not be taken as soon as the period starts if there are no cramps.

Soma 350 mg can be used two to three times a day, depending on the severity of the pain.


  1. Prevalence of menstrual pain in young women: what is dysmenorrhea?, Giovanni Grandi et al. NCBI. 

  2. When to see a doctor for menstrual cramps, HealthPartners. 

  3. Ten Ways To Cope With Menstrual Cramps, nyxiesnook

  4. Dysmenorrhea, Cleveland clinic. 

  5. Will muscle relaxers help menstrual cramps?, Taphealth. 

  6. Efficacy of high-velocity low-amplitude manipulative technique in subjects with low-back pain during menstrual cramping, David Boesler et al. degruyter. 

  7. What Helps Menstrual Cramps: 6 Home Remedies and OTC Options to Manage Pain, Healthline. 

  8. Aromatherapy for Managing Pain in Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials, Myeong Soo Lee et al. NCBI. 

  9. Best Muscle Relaxer for Menstrual Cramps, delune.

  10. The Efficacy of Zinc Administration in the Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea, Batool Teimoori et al. NCBI. 

  11. Magnesium and the menstrual cycle, helloclue.