If you suffer from endometriosis, then you know that the condition is no joke. It can become debilitating and very disruptive to your everyday life. That said, there are plenty of steps you can take to alleviate some of the symptoms of endo. In fact, the exercises for endometriosis pain could help you cope with endo better than ever before.
First, a quick review: endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects over three million American women, and it occurs when uterine tissue develops outside the uterus, as noted by the Endometriosis Association (EA). Misplaced tissue may not sound like a huge problem, but women who suffer from endometriosis may face extremely painful periods, gastrointestinal upsets, and even infertility, as further outlined by the EA. Sadly, as explained on WebMD, endometriosis cannot be cured, only managed. This is where exercise may help out.
Although a more thorough review of physical exercise's full effects on endometriosis is still needed, according to a 2014 study in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, getting active is often touted as one way women can manage endometriosis pain all on their own. For instance, according to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise may be a potential way to lessen endometriosis symptoms. Read on to learn how many different types of exercise, from yoga to high-intensity cardio, just might make your endometriosis more bearable.
1. High-Intensity Activity
OK, so this may not be the most feasible idea when you're in the middle of severe endometriosis pain. But on days when you aren't being held hostage by the condition, getting regular high-intensity activity may help you have lighter periods and lower estrogen production, as noted by Healthy Women. Running, cycling, or even aerobic dance classes may help your body out.
Yoga practice may provide many benefits to endometriosis sufferers. According to Yoga Journal, poses such as Bound Angle may help release the pelvis and provide relief. You might consider signing up for a class or talking to a teacher to get more targeted poses for your own problems.
3. Pelvic Floor Strengthening Moves
Again, this particular exercise may not be for everyone. But if you like, there are plenty of moves, such as bridge pose, that may help strengthen these muscles, as noted in Prevention. If you would like a more targeted approach, then pelvic floor physical therapy may be helpful, as noted by Endometriosis.org.
4. Low-Impact Activities
There are plenty of ways to help get your heart rate up without jarring your body and causing more pain outbursts. As noted in Endohope, exercise such as cycling may help you manage your chronic pain. You can try out several different types of bikes until you find one that works well with your body.
Pilates exercises can be especially helpful for women with endometriosis, because they provide focused exercise to the pelvic floor, the area where endometriosis pain is typically located. The additional full-body movements help improve your overall health as well.
6. Fun Workouts
As noted by the Center for Young Women's Health, getting regular exercise is an important part of managing your endometriosis pain. But you can think outside the box if the normal cardio workouts are not your cup of tea. Picking a fun Zumba class, for instance, may encourage you to stick with your decision to work out.
Another great low-impact exercise, swimming may offer a surprising array of benefits to women with endo. As noted in The Guardian, endometriosis pain can worsen if you don't move around, and swimming offers a gentle way for you to get both cardio and strength training at the same time.
8. MELT Method
If you want more targeted treatment, then there is the MELT Method, which is a series of exercises designed specifically to help alleviate endo issues. These sequences can help you address pain in your pelvic and lower back.
9. Physical Therapy
Lastly, for a more personalized approach, you may consider physical therapy. According to the Women's Health Foundation, physical therapy may help address many of the painful symptoms associated with endometriosis, and a trained therapist will know how to help you work around the problems presented by scar tissue, for instance. If your endometriosis is particularly severe, then this may be a great option for your physical health.