Author: Juliana Remer PT,DPT at N2 Physical Therapy Denver
March is endometriosis awareness month. Endometriosis is a disorder that affects approximately 15 million women in the United States alone. It is one of the leading causes of pelvic pain, hysterectomy and infertility.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is defined when the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus is found outside in other areas of the pelvis. This outer growth of endometrium will thicken and break down with each menstrual cycle. Since this tissue has nowhere to go, scar tissue and adhesions often result. Areas where these implants are commonly found are around the ovaries, the bowel, and in the pelvic lining.
Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis
- painful periods
- pain with intercourse
- pain during periods that can progress to persistent pain
- pain with bowel movements
- back or leg pain
The gold standard for the treatment of endometriosis is surgical removal of all adhesions and implants followed by physical therapy. There is also hormonal therapy to help reduce symptoms.
What Can Physical Therapy Do?
Physical Therapy can vastly improve both function and quality of life. Research has proven the importance of activity and exercise to decrease the symptoms of endometriosis; physical therapists can help find an appropriate level of exercise that is individualized to each patient’s specific needs. Pelvic physical therapy can also effectively treat the muscles that are often in spasm or are in a state of co-contraction (pelvic floor, abdominal wall, lower back and hips). Manual therapy will also include treating the nerves, fascia, and joints. In other words, the patient is treated as a “whole person”.
Please contact any of our offices if you have questions regarding physical therapy and the treatment for endometriosis. We are here to help.
Juliana Remer PT, DPT