Updated: Jul 9
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Endometriosis!
Endometriosis is a severe chronic illness that is often misdiagnosed and causes unresolved pain in many women who suffer from it. Symptoms of endometriosis include intense menstrual cramps in the abdomen or lower back, difficulty with urination and bowel movements during menstrual periods, pain during intercourse, diarrhea, constipation, nausea; however it's pretty common to have pain outside of your menstrual cycle. In addition, the severity of the symptoms varies from case to case.
Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) can help you manage some of the pain and discomfort. It can be an effective alternative treatment for endometriosis and pelvic pain, but how does it work? What are the types of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy? And what can you expect from your first few sessions?
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Endometriosis:
The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel, and uterus; they are integral to our core. They help with bladder control, bowel movements, and sexual activity. (How's that for a trifecta!) Unfortunately, these muscles can often be overworked trying to keep up with all these activities for someone who has endometriosis. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is a way to prevent or manage endo-related pelvic pain by focusing on the same muscles. When done correctly, Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can significantly improve your symptoms and daily life, making it one of the best treatments!
Today's post will discuss precisely what PFPT is and how it works for endo sufferers. So take a look and stay tuned!
A pelvic floor physical therapist helps restore function and improve mobility in male and female patients who suffer from pelvic issues, including endometriosis. They help patients with endometriosis by softening scar tissue causing excessive tenderness, but not everyone who has endo should see a physical therapist. The best treatment option will vary based on your age, diagnosis, and individual symptoms.
Pelvic physical therapy is an excellent option before exploring more invasive options and allows you to add more pain-relieving tools to your toolbox aside from pharmaceuticals. Every woman's pelvic floor muscles are different, especially their shape and strength. Some women are born with weaker pelvic floor muscles, while others develop them due to health problems or everyday habits. In addition, women who experience damage or injury to their pelvic region can experience long-term effects that lead to muscle weakness and pain in the pelvic area.
Why consider Physical Therapy
After all, isn't it just a part of exercising your pelvic floor muscles? Not exactly. Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) can help relieve endometriosis symptoms in conjunction with other treatment methods while considering that holistic approaches have fewer adverse side effects. It provides relief from symptoms and aids recovery by teaching patients how to utilize their muscles correctly, reducing pain, and improving mobility and strength. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is also helpful in relieving stress. Incontinence (leakage of urine or stool when you cough, sneeze or laugh), urinary frequency, and urgency in women with interstitial cystitis, uterine prolapse, rectal prolapse, and other pelvic floor disorders.
How to choose a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
Since pelvic floor physical therapy is specific to your needs, you may need to find a skilled and knowledgeable specialist. Even in major cities, it can be hard to find a PFPT specialist, so don't hesitate to ask friends and other women with endometriosis if they know of someone. The following organizations often have a list of qualified physical therapists in your area:
The International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPF),
I've Found relief (I've Found relief)
EndoHealthy Living (EndoHealthy Living)
Can I continue my exercise routine while attending Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Sadly, if you love extreme activities, you should avoid high-impact exercise that involves jumping, which puts pressure on your pelvic floor. Instead, practicing low-impact exercises such as going for a walk, biking, swimming, and modified strength training will benefit you and your health and help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Incorporating an active lifestyle and your Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy will lead to a better quality of life in the long run.
If you experience these symptoms and believe you may have endometriosis, you should talk to your doctor about how pelvic floor physical therapy could help you. There is no cure for endometriosis, but pelvic floor physical therapy can often help by strengthening muscles and helping you learn different techniques to relax your muscles, leading to less hip, back, and pelvic pain.
Check out my other articles to learn more about other related topics to health and wellness.