Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrial tissue (lining of the uterus) exits the uterus and enters the body and blood stream. Endometrial tissue is expelled from the uterus during menstruation through the fallopian tubes. Endometrial tissue is healthy and normal within the uterus. Endometrial tissue, outside of the uterus, is harmful. Endometrial tissue can travel through the bloodstream and relocate to other areas of the body (studies have found endometrial tissue as far as the eyes and brain). When endometrial tissue exists outside of the uterus, it proliferates scar tissue. See, our organs like movement, and they are designed to slide and glide against each other. When scar tissue builds between organs, our bodies cannot move as well. Organs can become tethered together. The bladder can bind to the uterus, uterus to colon, colon to colon, and so on and so forth. This can affect our digestion, reproductive abilities, excretion of waste products, and overall comfort. Endometriosis can contribute to pelvic pain and dysfunction.
What can pelvic floor physical therapy do to address endometriosis?
Pelvic floor physical therapy cannot cure or treat the cause of endometriosis. However, pelvic floor PT can address symptoms associated with endometriosis. We can determine a plan of care that is individualized to each patient regarding their symptoms. About half of patients with endometriosis experience chronic pelvic pain in some way, shape, or form. This could be through pelvic pain during menstruation, sexual intercourse, or digestion. Other symptoms include constipation, decreased organ motility, and joint pain. Endometriosis can even have injurious effects of posture. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help with symptom management and promote organ motility. There are a variety of techniques we incorporate including soft tissue mobilization, visceral mobilization, promotion of movement, pelvic floor relaxation, recommendations for behavioral modifications, and so on.
Endometriosis is a distressing condition for those who experience it and their loved ones. With pelvic floor physical therapy, we can improve your quality of life with symptom management. If you struggle with endometriosis, reach out to us, and see what we can do for you!
Awad E, Ahmed HAH, Yousef A, Abbas R. Efficacy of exercise on pelvic pain and posture associated with endometriosis: within subject design. J Phys Ther Sci. 2017;29(12):2112-2115. doi:10.1589/jpts.29.2112