Reformer Pilates Milton | Exercise with Endometriosis
Endometriosis. It’s a chronic health condition affecting one in eight women worldwide, yet unfortunately there is little information available around how exercise can help manage and improve the painful symptoms associated with an Endo diagnosis.
Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing, and there are some inappropriate exercises that may worsen your current symptoms, but returning to exercise post diagnosis can be important for both your physical and mental health! Reformer Pilates is a great way to start an exercise routine post surgery, due to the low impact nature, lengthening and strengthening of muscles.
WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition where endometrial-like tissue grows outside the uterine cavity. We say endometrial-like, as this tissue is not identical to the cells found within the uterine cavity, however it has a lot of similar properties.
Endometriosis is fuelled by the hormone oestrogen, however we are still learning and discovering exactly what causes this tissue growth! This tissue can attach itself anywhere within the pelvic and abdominal cavity, with reports of endometriosis even found on the diaphragm (though this is very rare)! Unfortunately the human body is not equipped to remove these tissue growths, and they continue to act as endometrial-like cells, so with every menstrual cycle, scar tissue and adhesions can form through the release of oestrogen. This can cause a wide range of symptoms, including inflammation, bloating, pelvic pain and cramping.
Best exercises to start with post Endo diagnosis: Reformer Pilates and Endo
Regular physical exercise can have protective effects against diseases (like Endo!) that involve inflammatory processes since it causes an increase of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant markers within the body, and also acts by reducing oestrogen levels, making it a great idea to incorporate exercise into your recovery and disease management.
The pain and discomfort associated with Endometriosis can cause a guarding mechanism within the body – where the body braces to protect itself from pain. This bracing can affect the pelvic floor, abdominal wall and hip flexors – the anterior side of the body. Reformer Pilates exercises involve lengthening exercises which assist in lengthening specific muscles and strengthening muscles without impact. A qualified women’s health Exercise Physiologist or Pilates Instructor can guide you through the correct exercises that will assist you in building strength, flexibility without flaring up your symptoms.
At any.BODY Studio Owner and lead trainer Elle will be able to assist you one on one when returning to exercise post surgery and then progress you into an appropriate well supervised group reformer class to help manage your symptoms. It is important to have a sustainable exercise routine to build up protective mechanisms against Endo.