Endometriosis is a painful disorder affecting 6 million American women of childbearing age, and is caused by the cells in the endometrial lining within the uterus growing outside of the uterus and into the abdominal cavity. Endometrial pain is directly connected to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Her condition can cause a whole host of physical problems, from chronic pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, gastrointestinal distress, and bowel problems.
If you’re suffering from endometriosis pain, it’s likely that the last thing on your mind is wanting to get up to exercise. Although it seems counterintuitive, evidence suggests exercise effectively relieves pain and may benefit women who suffer from endometriosis.
Regular physical therapy can help in the following ways:
- It can help you manage your symptoms: With routine physical activity, you can relieve muscle, back, and joint pain. It also improves blood flow, sending nutrient-rich blood to painful areas. Exercise also releases the “feel good” hormone, endorphins, which can improve your mood, reduce stress, and alleviate depression. It can also lower estrogen levels, which is one trigger of endometriosis symptoms.
- It is complementary therapy to medication and/or surgery: Doctors often recommend that patients exercise after endometriosis surgery. When you’re ready to get started, you’ll need a skilled physical therapist who fully understands endometriosis and can help you devise an exercise plan to alleviate your symptoms and not make it worse.
- When done correctly and under the guidance of a physician and/or physical therapist, it will not exacerbate your symptoms: If you’re in pain, start slowly and increase resistance over time. Consult with your physician and/or physical therapist to decide on the best fitness routine, as not all exercise will be suitable for you.
A physical therapist will provide you with exercise recommendations and address you as a whole person, not just an endometriosis sufferer. Physical therapy is only one part of the puzzle to your treatment, though. We highly encourage a multidisciplinary approach to managing your condition, which may include the expertise of general practitioners, gynecologists, endocrinologists, holistic medicine providers, dietitians, psychotherapists, pain management specialists, and so on.
Ready to discuss endometriosis physical therapy? Contact us at ProFysio for an appointment at (732) 812-5200.