Exercises for Endo — Stretching
A stretching routine can have positive benefits for women suffering from endometriosis pain.
One in 10 women has endometriosis; it is a disease where tissue, similar to that which normally lines the uterus, grows in other parts of the body. Exercising with endometriosis is often a powerful pain management tool for those with the condition. Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition and exercise has the ability to increase those anti-inflammatory markers. Moderate intensity exercise also reduces oestrogen levels, and as endometriosis is an oestrogen dominant condition — reducing levels is beneficial to management.
In endometriosis, many of the muscles through the front (abdominal muscles, chest, hip flexors) become very tight and the posterior muscles become very weak. This occurs from days spent curled up in the foetal position and pain mechanisms. Pain causes muscles to contract and to restrict your movement as a protective mechanism from the brain, but this can actually really make the pain worse.
One thing that makes endometriosis or 'endo' equal parts challenging and frustrating is that every women's experience is different and symptoms and pain levels can vary greatly between women. Developed by accredited Exercise Physiologists, Elisha Silcox and Esme Soan, the following article was originally published on Endometriosis Queensland's website.
Endo Stretching Series
Physical activity and using exercise as medicine can reap great benefits for those living with endometriosis.
Avoid excessive abdominal or pelvic floor contractions. HIIT training, Pilates and other high-intensity exercises can often not be the most supportive to your body when you have pain. Throughout the month, in time with your cycle, try swapping your HIIT training for a yoga session, or attending a Pilates class run by Exercise Physiologists, who would be able to modify intense abdominal work for something more suitable, like single leg work.
1. Happy Cat/Angry Cat
2. Abductor Stretch
3. Child's Pose with Side Reach
4. Belly Breathing (Pelvic Floor Bosom)
5. Glute Stretch
6. Happy Baby
7. Hip Flexor Stretch
8. Side Reach
Esme Soan and Elisha Silcox are Senior Exercise Physiologists at Pear Exercise Physiology & Physio. You can find important information about Endometriosis symptoms, treatments, management and more on the QENDO website.