This month, I’ve been teaming up with Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, Maria Elliott to talk about pelvic pain and ways to manage endometriosis. I was fortunate enough to discover Maria a year after surgery for stage 3 endo and adenomyosis. She is known for her healing hands and has been instrumental in my pain management.
More often than not if you have pain or surgery on your shoulder, hip or knee you’re referred to a physio, so why not for your pelvis? Endometriosis adhesions can pull and tighten muscles, nerves and ligaments in the pelvis causing inflammation that triggers debilitating pain. As Maria explains, “it’s important to release tight muscles and fascia in the pelvis to free up the organs underneath such as the small intestine, colon and bladder so they can slide and glide better, reducing inflammation and pain.”
Pelvic physio can benefit patients both before and after surgery, however, there needs to be better awareness and access to this specialised treatment. A recent report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Endometriosis criticised the lack of pain management resources available to endo patients in the UK. Maria and I strongly believe there needs to be a more holistic approach to pain management using physiotherapy, an anti-inflammatory diet and gentle yoga alongside conventional pharmacological and surgical treatment.
We’ve put together a series on instagram to discuss and demonstrate how this holistic approach helps manage pain. Using breathwork, yoga postures and gentle self massage, we discuss and demonstrate techniques you can try at home.
To accompany physical therapy treatment for endo it’s also important to do specific exercises that you can practice regularly at home. Here are 4 simple exercises to start practicing 2 to 3 times a day. If you’re new to yoga and you have pelvic pain it’s good to start small and easy. Just remember there’s no quick fix and try to be patient. It took a while for your pelvic area to become this tense and painful, it may take a while to loosen it back off again.
These basic therapeutic exercises are a good way to start releasing tightened muscles associated with endo. These simple postures and breathing exercises help to initiate stretching and bring gentle movement that is essential to the healing process. They may not work for everyone, so go easy and listen to your body.