Anna Winstanley Physiotherapy York

Benefits of Physiotherapy for Endometriosis

A woman sits in a meditation pose outside, surrounded by brown leaves and logs. She has a cat sat by her side.

In part 1 of this blog series, we looked at an overview of Endometriosis. In this blog, Today, we take a look at the benefits of physiotherapy for Endometriosis symptoms.

I was surprised to discover in reviewing current practice guidance, that there is no mention in the UK NICE guidelines about using physiotherapy for Endometriosis management!

However, we know as a highly specialised group of clinicians that we have a lot to offer in managing persistent pelvic pain. 

Endometriosis as persistent pelvic pain

With the presence of inflammation, scarring and pain, the tissues throughout the entire pelvic region can become very sensitive. There may also be mechanical or anatomical changes which are contributing to the pain.

Changes in behaviour, such as avoiding exercise (or not knowing what may help or hinder), missing social engagements due to pain, and mental health and emotional states that go along with persistent pain can all feed into the amplification of pain. It becomes a vicious circle. 

Physiotherapy aims to identify the primary drivers of the pain for each individual, whether physical, social, behavioural, cultural, environmental etc. This helps to inform the ‘treatment menu’ which the woman can choose from.

Every person’s pain experience is individual and the things that will help you may be different to another person’s preferred strategies.

A safe space

First and foremost, here at Anna Winstanley Physiotherapy, you will find a safe space in which to tell your story. This is so important, especially after many years of having your symptoms minimised, misunderstood or dismissed by others and even questioning yourself.

The time taken to talk about your symptoms in our first appointment, not only helps me to really understand your experience, but many women report that this is the first time they have had time to fully tell their story.

This can be very healing in itself. 

Physiotherapy for Endometriosis: Pain relief

Treatments such as movement, stretches, breathing, relaxation techniques and mindfulness can all be useful choices for reducing pain. This is why using physiotherapy for Endometriosis pain treatment can be an effective choice.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is another non-invasive modality that can be really effective in managing Endometriosis pain and your physio can trial this with you. 

Pain science education

Any persistent pain condition is complex.

Helping women to understand what pain is or is not, and then helping to draw links between that knowledge and the woman’s own experiences can be a very powerful tool in reducing fear and pain as well as empowering the woman to manage her pain successfully. 

Posture and breathwork

Posture, breath and the pelvic floor are closely inter-related.

Often we see women with chronic pelvic pain displaying protective posturing and unhelpful breathing patterns that have been in place for some time.

Helping women to address these issues can help to alleviate tension in the abdomen and pelvis, as well as the neuromodulatory effects of certain breathing techniques. 

Manual therapies

This broadly refers to “hands on” treatment. This may be the pelvic floor muscles directly or the surrounding tissues such as abdomen, hips or spine.

The aim of manual therapies is to help to desensitise tissues at a local level and reaffirm “safe sensations” from the tissues to the Central Nervous System where pain is regulated. 

Bladder and bowel health

Symptoms may vary so your physiotherapist will take a detailed history and consider this within the context of your overall symptoms and your life to determine the best treatment strategies for you. This may include dietary advice, ergonomics and lifestyle strategies and pelvic floor therapy.

Sexual Health

For women who experience pain during sex there are a range of techniques, products and advice to help in this area. As always, a detailed consultation will establish what is important to you before discussing options that you are comfortable with. 

Physiotherapy for Endometriosis with Anna Winstanley

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Anna Winstanley

Hi I’m Anna, a Women's Health Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor in York with a nerdy passion for all things women’s health and wellbeing. I’ve worked with countless women over the years, helping them to feel strong, overcome pain and improve their quality of life so they can be marvellous mums, excellent employees and super selves.

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