Endometriosis and the Benefits of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Can a pelvic floor therapist help women who suffer from Endometriosis? The answer is yes!!! 

Let’s start with what is endometriosis. Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue, similar to the tissue that lines a woman’s uterus, grows outside the uterus affecting organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the tissue lining the pelvis, bowels, bladder, and even organs beyond the pelvic area. According to the World Health Organization, endometriosis affects 10% of women of childbearing age and can profoundly impact a woman’s quality of life.

Symptoms often include: 

  • pelvic pain around the time of menstruation
  • pain with intercourse and/or tampon use
  • pain with bowel/bladder voiding
  • constipation and bloating
  • bladder urgency/frequency/leakage
  • fatigue
  • back, hip, and pelvic pain

There are several medical treatment options for individuals with endometriosis including pain medication, hormone therapy, and surgery. However, sometimes these treatments aren’t enough to provide pain relief. The presence of endometriosis in the pelvis causes a secondary chronic guarding of pelvic floor musculature. This chronic guarding leads to abnormal functioning of the pelvic floor muscles. The muscles can be too tight and spastic, too lax and weak, or poorly coordinated causing dysfunction and pain. 

Often women also have surrounding muscle, joint, and tissue dysfunction including decreased hip/lumbar range of motion and decreased fascial mobility in the abdomen and pelvis. Even women who have had excision surgery or a hysterectomy will often still suffer from unresolved musculoskeletal imbalances affecting the general mobility and function of the pelvic organs.  

Many of these symptoms can be addressed with pelvic floor physical therapy. Pelvic floor therapy can help improve the function, flexibility, and strength of the pelvic floor muscles. Therapists can do this in the following ways:

  • Manual therapy
  • Internal pelvic trigger point releases
  • Stretches
  • Yoga
  • Breathing exercises
  • Nervous system down training
  • Strengthening and coordination exercises
  • Bladder and bowel retraining
  • Pain management strategies
  • Joint mobilization
  • Instruction in home dilator program

If you suffer from endometriosis we would love to meet you and evaluate your needs! At your evaluation, we will look at your medical history, your symptoms, and how your symptoms affect your daily life. Based on your evaluation your therapist will recommend an individualized program for you to help you meet your goals. The length of a physical therapy program depends on the severity of your condition and symptoms, but rest assured, at Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy your physical therapist will work with you to determine the best course of therapy for you.

If you need help with recovering from an injury and getting back to the activity that you love, reach out to your local Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy clinic today. Schedule a free consultation to determine if physical therapy is right for you or if you just need some tips and tricks to get you there. Click Here to Schedule

Learn More About
the Author

Sarah Ayotte, DPT