I am 35 years old, living with stage IV Endometriosis, possibly adenomyosis and struggled with infertility for almost 4 years. I also struggled with PPD and now struggle with PMDD. I am a mother to a son that was born at 18 weeks and too precious for this earth; and now a mother to a son born in August 2011. By journaling here, I hope to benefit both for myself and for others that are dealing with this disease and fertility struggles. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Manual Therapy

I have a pretty exciting post! I went to my physical therapist yesterday for my neck/back pain. I've been on and off at this clinic for about 2 years now. These particular PT's are specialized in manual therapy. The Wikipedia definition is:

Manual Therapy encompasses the treatment of health ailments of various etiologies through 'hands-on', physical intervention.

Physical treatments includes massage, soft tissue mobilization, various connective tissue techniques, myofascial release, craniosacral techniques, mobilization of joints, joint manipulation, mobilization of neural tissue, visceral mobilization, and strain and counterstrain.

They have done WONDERS for my neck. Last year when I went I couldn't move my neck to one side (for whatever reason). Seriously, I love going!

Yesterday we were chatting and I was talking about my endometriosis. She asked if they had ever "worked on" my stomach. Well...no. But, I have read about massage type therapies that are used to help break up adhesions. I was very excited! So, for the last 15/20 minutes of my session yesterday (she actually went over because her last apt of the day canceled) she worked on manipulating the tissues in my abdomen.

Normally, your abdominal area is very fluid...your organs are normally mobile in your abdomen-you can usually move them around a bit. Those of of with endo know that adhesions can cause the organs to literally be glued down or together. She said that things were pretty stiff and unforgiving. She could feel all my organs (weird), and, obviously they don't move like they should. She also mentioned something about my uterus feeling a bit enlarged. Hmmm, interesting (I had inflammation he found during surgery...is it still there?). Things were particularly stiff near my descending colon (where a lot of my pain has been recently).

So, I'm pretty excited. The last 15 minutes of my sessions they are going to work on my abdominal area. :) Maybe this can help! She said that it's not scientifically based, but, that these techniques have been shown to improve fertility. Why not? I feel kind of bruised tonight, and a bit off. She warned me that I might feel kind of icky tonight...said that when things are so stiff and you get things moving around-it could make my body feel odd while it was trying to adjust to the normalcy.

I also learned something interesting about a possible reason for my sciatica pains. She said that with endo comes inflammation. (She used a lot of technical/anatomical terms) and explained that the inflammation could be causing the muscle that surrounds the "tube" with that nerve in it to be "pinched" or have more pressure against it. So, not necessarily that endo has compromised the nerve, but, the inflammatory processes.

Just wanted to share my learning experience yesterday. I'll keep you posted on how the manual therapy is working on the endo.

Colon issues are come and go. I guess it's something I should get used to? We'll see. And, I still haven't heard from my endoscopy. I guess no news might be good news?


Duck said...

i did a maya abdominal massage and felt amazing afterwards, really thought that it would change my life and i would become pregnant. not so much for me.

if your all inflamed try not to have any dairy - it can help !

Jeanne said...

My Endo Journey,

My former Group Co-Leader swears by Chi Nei Tsang, a Traditional Chinese Medicine form of abdominal massage. She demonstrated it on a fellow patient in one of our local meetings!

Also, some specialized physical therapists do soft tissue work internally. You may want to ask your physical therapist if he/she is familiar with this. Or contact The National Vulvodynia Association to see if there is such a PT in your area.

This special PT helps pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. I've had this type of PT myself. I also had my physical therapist do a presentation for my local endo group! You can also contact the International Pelvic Pain Society for names of physical therapists who do the internal work with biofeedback, myofascial work, etc.

Several of our local group members have tried this special PT. It can cause soreness afterwards in some people but it helps everyone I know of who has tried it in the long run!

Yes... inflammation is a major problem for many endo patients! There are special nutritional diets (I don't mean weight loss diets!) that help many endo patients.

See my post on a book called The Yeast Connection by Dr. William Crook and another book that the name escapes me but is in the same post (in my June or July archives under an alternative medicine post... I'm almost sure).

I think the maya massage "duck" mentioned is similar to Chi Nei Tsang. I think my former Group Co-Leader has had that too.

If your organs don't feel right to the physical therapist... then obviously something is going on in there...

As far as colon problems of either extreme (diarrhea like I have had since the early 1990s, as have fellow group members, or constipation like many of my group members have had as well)... either extreme can be endo-related.

My IBS has been really flaring lately no matter what I eat! It's very tricky! I know that tomato sauce (like pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce) will set off my IBS really badly!!

I have had 3 colonoscopies, 1 sigmoidoscopy, a hemicolectomy (a foot of my colon removed), etc. I know how challenging IBS can be!!!

Hang in there!! :) :) :)


Jeanne said...

My Endo Journey,

Here are links for you that might help!!


National Vulvodynia Association


International Pelvic Pain Society