4 Stretches to Help Soothe Period-Related Aches and Pains

You might not feel up to an hour-long cycling class or even one burpee while on your period, and that is more than fine. Exercise can be especially helpful in soothing period discomfort, but it doesn't need to be intense or challenging for you to reap the benefits.

According to physical therapist Anna Ribaudo, DPT, there are simple stretches that may be helpful in alleviating period side effects, such as lower-back and hip pain.

"Exercises and stretches can be really helpful during your period," Ribaudo said. "Endorphins, which are pain-relieving, pleasure-inducing chemicals, are released in your body with exercise, which can make exercise a way better option then the fetal position. Exercise also decreases inflammation, improves blood flow, and helps to boost your energy levels."

Before trying out these stretches, Ribaudo suggests going for a walk first to warm up. You can read more about the benefits of each stress ahead. Remember to listen to your body and stop if any of the stretches are causing you pain.

Lower-Trunk Rotation
POPSUGAR Photography | Victoria Moorhouse

Lower-Trunk Rotation

This gentle stretch targets the lower back, Ribaudo said.

  • Lying down on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor, slowly let both legs fall to one side gently.
  • Hold there for 10-15 seconds before slowly letting your legs fall to the other side.
  • Repeat this three to five times on each side.
Hamstring Stretch
POPSUGAR Photography | Victoria Moorhouse

Hamstring Stretch

"It can be helpful for this stretch to use either a stretch strap or a belt to assist," Ribaudo noted. As its name suggests, this stretch focuses on stretching out the hamstrings.

  • Place a strap around the ball of your foot, and slowly straighten your leg until you feel a stretch in the back of it.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat twice on each side.
Cat-Camel Stretch
POPSUGAR Photography | Victoria Moorhouse

Cat-Camel Stretch

"The Cat-Camel stretch is a good gentle mobilization of the spine and works on stretching and strengthening your low back and core muscles," Ribaudo said. "It can help with pain of the low or mid-back and should be performed to tolerance."

  • For the Cat part of the stretch, sink your back down toward the floor and lift your head up at the same time, sticking your tailbone out to make a curve with your spine.
  • Hold this pose for 10 seconds, focusing on your breathing.
  • For the Camel part, tuck your head and tailbone in, arching through your spine as to mimic a camel hump.
  • Hold this pose for 10 seconds again, focusing on your breathing.
  • Repeat three times in each direction.
POPSUGAR Photography | Victoria Moorhouse


On top of providing a stretch, Ribaudo said this move is helpful in strengthening your low back/core and helping with stability.

  • Begin on hands and knees in a tabletop position.
  • Make sure your knees are under your hips and your hands under your shoulders
  • Maintain a neutral spine by engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Raise your right arm and left leg, keeping your shoulders and hips parallel to the floor.
  • Lengthen the back of your neck, and tuck your chin into your chest to make sure your gaze is on the floor (to not stress your neck).
  • Hold this position for five seconds, then lower back to the starting position.
  • Raise your left arm and right leg, holding this position now for five seconds.
  • Return to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
  • Do one to two sets of 10 reps.