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What is adenomyosis and how can physio help?

Hello everyone,

Today, I want to delve into a topic that is not often discussed but can significantly impact the lives of many women: adenomyosis. As a women's health physiotherapist, I often encounter individuals who are struggling with this condition, and I'm passionate about shedding light on how physiotherapy can offer relief and support.

Adenomyosis is a condition where the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (myometrium). This can lead to symptoms such as heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, severe menstrual cramps, pelvic pain, and even infertility. While adenomyosis shares some symptoms with endometriosis, it is a distinct condition with its own set of challenges.

Here are some common symptoms associated with adenomyosis:

  1. Heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia): Women with adenomyosis often experience heavier than normal menstrual bleeding, which can lead to prolonged periods.

  2. Severe menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea): Adenomyosis can cause intense pelvic pain and cramping before and during menstruation. The pain may radiate to the lower back and thighs.

  3. Pelvic pain: Some women with adenomyosis experience chronic pelvic pain outside of menstruation. This pain may be dull, aching, or sharp and can vary in intensity.

  4. Pelvic pressure: Adenomyosis can cause a feeling of fullness or pressure in the pelvic region, often accompanied by discomfort or pain.

  5. Abdominal bloating: Bloating, similar to that experienced during menstruation, may occur more frequently in women with adenomyosis.

  6. Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia): Adenomyosis can make sexual intercourse painful or uncomfortable due to pelvic pain or pressure.

  7. Urinary symptoms: Some women may experience urinary urgency, frequency, or discomfort, particularly if adenomyosis causes pressure on the bladder.

  8. Gastrointestinal symptoms: Adenomyosis can sometimes lead to symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, or abdominal cramping, although these are less common.

It's important to note that the severity and combination of symptoms can vary among individuals with adenomyosis. Additionally, some women may not experience any symptoms at all.

A woman grimacing, holding her tummy, with lightening bolts shooting off her tummy.

So, how can physiotherapy help individuals dealing with adenomyosis?

  1. Pain Management: One of the most common symptoms of adenomyosis is pelvic pain. Physiotherapy techniques such as manual therapy, pelvic floor exercises, and relaxation techniques can help manage and alleviate this pain. By addressing muscle tension and improving pelvic floor function, physiotherapy can provide much-needed relief.

  2. Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation: Adenomyosis can affect pelvic floor function, leading to issues such as urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. Women's health physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat pelvic floor dysfunction through targeted exercises and education. Strengthening, releasing and coordinating the pelvic floor muscles can improve bladder control and overall pelvic health.

  3. Exercise Prescription: Many women with adenomyosis may avoid physical activity due to fear of exacerbating their symptoms. However, appropriate exercise can actually help manage pain and improve overall well-being. A women's health physiotherapist can prescribe tailored exercises that are gentle on the body and promote strength, flexibility, and relaxation.

  4. Education and Support: Living with adenomyosis can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. A women's health physiotherapist can provide valuable education about the condition, its management, and self-care strategies. Additionally, having a supportive healthcare professional who understands the unique needs of women with adenomyosis can make a world of difference in their journey to better health.

  5. Collaboration with Other Healthcare Providers: Physiotherapists often work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as gynaecologists and pain specialists, to provide comprehensive care for individuals with adenomyosis. By collaborating and sharing expertise, we can ensure that each patient receives the multidisciplinary support they need.

In conclusion, adenomyosis is a complex condition that can have a significant impact on a woman's quality of life. However, physiotherapy offers a range of interventions that can help manage symptoms, improve pelvic health, and enhance overall well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with adenomyosis, I encourage you to consider incorporating physiotherapy into your treatment plan.

Remember, you are not alone, and there are professionals ready to support you on your journey to better health.

Take care,


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1 commento

28 mar

Thank you for raising awareness of adenomyosis- another invisible illness that is often misdiagnosed or ignored and yet causes all sorts of symptoms - physical and emotional.

Mi piace
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