Endometriosis and pelvic floor physiotherapy
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease that affects 1 in 10 NZ women. It occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, is found in places outside of the uterus. Many young NZ women may go years before gaining an accurate diagnosis and therefore management of their symptoms.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Pain with periods (dysmenorrhoea). Often the most common symptom.
Bowel problems like bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, pain with bowel movements, painful wind (sometimes diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
Sub-fertility or infertility
Tiredness and low energy
Pain in other places such as the lower back
Pain at other times e.g. with ovulation or intermittently throughout the month
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This might make you feel moody, emotional or irritable
Abnormal menstrual bleeding
Bladder troubles like interstitial cystitis (IC)
If you have some of the above symptoms and suspect that you may have endometriosis, the best place to start is with your GP. They will be able to refer you to the appropriate specialists for diagnosis. Note that the only way to accurately diagnosis endometriosis is with a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery).
So how can a women’s health physio help?
Although we cannot diagnose and treat the endometriosis itself (we leave that for the amazing gynaecologists), a women’s health physiotherapist is trained in helping with the management of MANY of the symptoms that accompany it. This includes management of:
Bladder pain and bowel concerns including constipation
Painful sex (dyspareunia)
Pain in the pelvis, lower back or hips
At Four Physio in Christchurch, we use a combination of pelvic floor muscle release, soft tissue mobilization, breathing techniques and exercise prescription. This may include advice on appropriate exercise and the addition of targeted stretches or strengthening exercises.
We work closely alongside local gynaecologists, GP’s, dieticians and pain management specialists here in Christchurch and are here to help you to enjoy a symptom free life.
Don’t let endometriosis stop you from having enjoyable sex, carrying out your favourite form of exercise or pursuing your career goals. Book in for your women's health physiotherapy appointment at Four here and let’s get started!