In this Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre at Epworth Support Group online video recording, pelvic physiotherapist Chloe Cox talks about exercise and endometriosis.
- the role of exercise in endometriosis management
- real strategies on adding exercise to your work and life
- boom-bust theory, pacing and graded exposure to exercise
- how a physiotherapist and multidisciplinary care team can support you.
Exercise and endometriosis: Endometriosis Support Group, Feb 2023
Planning to watch later? For now, check out these five valuable points from Chloe’s presentation.
1) Knowledge about exercise for endometriosis is currently limited
Systematic reviews into the direct effect of exercise on endometriosis pain and symptoms are inconclusive. On the other hand, there is a body of research into chronic pain and exercise that we can draw on to guide us when prescribing an exercise program for endometriosis pain.
The research tells us about the benefits of exercise for mental health, which is really important within endometriosis. Some studies suggest that the risk of depression and other related mental health conditions more than doubles for people with endometriosis.
Exercise is also known to help with sleep and decreasing inflammatory markers, both very important for people with endometriosis.
2) It’s important to start with a plan
When you have chronic pain with endometriosis, it's really important to have a plan that allows you to manage flare ups. Coaching from health professionals can be valuable to help you set realistic exercise goals that give your body time to adapt gradually, rather than overdoing it and experiencing setbacks.
3) There are strategies to avoid endometriosis pain after exercise
Boom-bust and pacing theories (watch from 4:45min) can help to ensure your exercise program is manageable and sustainable, even during a flare. Choosing the right exercise type for you is also important.
4) Pelvic pain stretches can help
Knowing what forms of exercise can help with an endometriosis flare is really important. Pelvic stretches as part of an exercise program can be very useful for managing endo flares.
Pelvic stretches you can do at work:
- roll down against wall
- pectoral stretch
- sumo squat stretch
- pigeon stretch on table.
See more, with visual examples, at 17 min.
5) Incidental exercise counts too
Don’t be disheartened if you miss the occasional planned exercise activity. All exercise is good exercise, and it's important to count all the incidental activity you do each day, such as walking, which can add up to considerable exercise over time.
We hope you got a lot out of Chloe’s presentation to the Endometriosis Support Group. Get notified of upcoming endometriosis webinars and groups: sign up to the newsletter from the Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre at Epworth.