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22 Harvey Street
Collie WA 6225

(08) 9797 1111

Suite 1/1 Mulgara St
Australind WA 6233


Endometriosis - What Is It And How Can Pelvic Physiotherapy Help?

ENDOMETRIOSIS – What is it and how can pelvic physiotherapy help?

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can be a debilitating condition for up to one in every 10 women, although these numbers are potentially even higher as a formal diagnosis often takes 7-10 years. It is estimated that the economic cost of endometriosis and pelvic pain is a staggering $9.7 billion per year, most of this being lost productivity as a consequence of pain.

Symptoms of endometriosis vary significantly between sufferers, but can include:

  • Pain anywhere in the pelvis, whether related to your period or at any other time of the menstrual cycle
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Pain with emptying your bladder
  • Pain with bowel motions
  • Heavy or irregular bleeding
  • Bladder urgency
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Other bladder and bowel dysfunction (e.g. difficulty emptying, having to urinate frequently)

Endometriosis management often involves a team of dedicated health professionals working together to help improve symptoms, reduce pain and restore quality of life. This can include (but is not limited to) a GP, gynaecologist, urologist, colorectal specialist, dietitian and pelvic health physiotherapist.

Persistent pain is complex, and often people with endometriosis have been suffering for years. There are many different things that contribute to ongoing pain and half the battle is determining what those are and how they can be managed. One component often involved in the management of pelvic pain is addressing pelvic floor muscles. Think about when you hurt your back- your muscles feel tight (or even spasmed) as a guarding response to the pain. Essentially, your body is trying to protect you from injuring yourself further. Usually in a few days though, this eases off enabling you to start moving freely again and eventually everything returns to normal. This process is no different in the pelvic region and with your pelvic floor muscles. However, when your pelvic floor muscles are tight or guarding all the time, this can further perpetuate the pelvic pain cycle and contribute to the symptoms listed above.

Treating this muscle dysfunction can involve:

·Learning how to relax your pelvic floor muscles (sounds easy, but can be harder than you think!)

·Pelvic stretches

·External or internal release work

·Self-release of pelvic floor muscles

Treatment is always individualised based on assessment findings, so what works for one person may not be appropriate for the next due to different factors driving the underlying muscle tension. Please also note that this is just one component of managing pelvic pain- there are many others.

Pelvic physiotherapy cannot treat endometriosis lesions, however it can help with chronic pain management by determining what other contributing factors are and addressing them. This leads to less pain, more function and a higher quality of life in people suffering with persistent pelvic pain. If you would like to seek help regarding endometriosis or pelvic pain, please call us to book in with Ebony on (08) 9797 1111 or book online.


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