Those living with endometriosis are fully aware of how much of an impact it can take on your everyday life. One of the common side effects of the condition is pelvic pain in your lower stomach or back, and experts are beginning to understand the role of the musculoskeletal system in endometriosis pain more and more. To help manage and handle this pain, the best stretches to try for Endometriosis often focus on improving your pelvic health through muscle balance, joint mobility, fitness and posture.
The University of Oxford has released a series of recommended stretches for those suffering with the condition in collaboration with Endometriosis Oxford Care and Nuffield Department Of Women’s & Reproductive Health. The exercises have been split into four categories: stretching, mobility, control, and strengthening, each focusing on a different area of improving pelvic health to help with pain.
Here are what each four of the categories can help with:
Stretching: “Commonly muscles can become tight and painful because of both posture, which may be in response to pain generated from endometriosis, and overuse, as other muscles become weakened requiring these muscles to compensate.”
Mobility: “Spinal mobility helps to optimise the function of muscles surrounding our pelvis and relieve symptoms of lower back pain.”
Control: “It is important to gain control in our core muscles for our muscles to be strong.” These core muscles include our pelvic floor and the transverse abdominis muscle.
Strengthening: “Muscles can become weakened in response to posture, pain and inactivity. Strengthening the pelvic muscles helps to rebalance control, reducing the body’s need to compensate using the muscles identified above.”
No matter which stretches you try, it is recommended that you start small and gradually build up your strength and resistance. Work within your body’s limits, don’t push, and take rest days in between stretch days.
I’ve selected a few stretches below and included the instructions on how to carry then out according to the experts at the University of Oxford, Endometriosis Oxford Care and Nuffield Department Of Women’s & Reproductive Health. A full list of the stretches (and accompanying pictures) can be found here.