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Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation

Endometriosis

Endometriosis

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a common disorder involving a woman’s reproductive organs and pelvic area.  Research demonstrates that 10 to 20% of American women of childbearing ages have endometriosis (NIDC).  It occurs  when endometrial tissue that normally lines the uterus is found in other areas of the body.   Endometrial tissue has special qualities because it responds to changing hormones by becoming thickened and engorged with blood during each menstrual cycle. It is normally shed during the menstrual period if a pregnancy does not occur. In endometriosis this tissue is begins to grow in places outside the uterus.  Typical areas include the fallopian tubes, intestines, vagina, rectum and potentially on scars from previous abdominal surgeries.  Endometriosis results in inflammation, which contributes to the development of fascial restrictions or adhesions. These restrictions can result in significant pain.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

  • Infertility
  • Pain involving the abdomen, pelvis, and back
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Painful periods
  • Painful urination during periods
  • Painful bowel movements during periods
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea, constipation, and nausea

How Can Donna Sarna Physiotherapy Help?

At Donna Sarna Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation, a pelvic floor assessment is a two-part process. The first appointment will include a detailed history and an external evaluation. The physiotherapist will examine posture, movement, and the muscles, fascia, and nerves, focusing on the low back, hips, pelvis and abdomen. The second appointment will include an internal examination, which includes evaluation of the vagina and possibly the anus, the perineal body, skin, and connective tissue in the genital and surrounding area. The pelvic floor muscles are tested for muscle tone or tightness, strength, endurance, trigger points, and tissue integrity. Position of the pelvic organs and integrity of their supporting ligaments are also evaluated. Assessment for potential adhesions within the pelvic cavity and abdomen is an area of focus to determine location as well as the intensity of the restrictions.  You are always welcome to have a trusted individual present during assessment or treatment.

Treatment may include education regarding posture, breathing and relaxation exercises.  Manual therapy techniques including myofascial release and visceral manipulation will be utilized to address adhesions.  An individualized home exercise program to release, lengthen and/or strengthen the pelvic floor and associated core will be introduced.  Modalities such as heat and acupuncture may be components of the treatment plan.