Endometriosis is a medical condition, in which the tissue which normally lines the uterus (endometrium) begins to grow on other organs of the pelvis.
This is commonly seen at the level of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, with a negative impact on menstruation and fertility.
It is important to understand that this condition can cause other symptoms, such as joint pain. If you want to know more information on Endometriosis, all you have to do is keep on reading.
In the paragraphs below, you will be able to discover useful facts on this condition and joint pain, one of its main symptoms.
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#1 Endometriosis Commonly Appears In The Hip
One of the first joints that are affected by this kind of pain is the hip. At first, the pain is not that intense, allowing one to function without too many difficulties.
However, as this is a progressive condition, the pain will increase in severity. It can reach so severe stages that it will prevent the patient from engaging in normal daily living activities.
It is common that the hip pain radiates, towards the buttocks and down the leg. This happens as the excess tissue applies pressure on the sciatic nerve, leading to compression and subsequent inflammation.
For this reason, it is essential to try and identify the root of the problem and not just treat the symptom.
If the endometriosis is not properly treated, it is highly likely that the hip joint pain will only become worse.
#2 The Joint Pain In Endometriosis Can Be Caused/Aggravated By Adhesions
The excess endometrial tissue often leads to adhesions. While these may occur anywhere in the body, they are commonly identified in the pelvis and especially around the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
When the endometrial tissue attaches to different organs, it can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including pain.
If it happens that the endometrial tissue attaches near the hip, it will cause not only pain but also a reduced range of motion.
The more adhesions form in the vicinity of the hip, the more the range of motion is going to be restricted.
Thus, the ligaments of the hip will suffer as well and the patient will have difficulties performing otherwise regular activities.
Due to the Endometriosis, one might begin to limp or avoid bearing weight on the respective leg.
#3 Back Pain Is A Potential Symptom In Women Suffering From Endometriosis
While lower back pain is not a common manifestation of endometriosis, it is nevertheless one of the symptoms that can appear as part of the clinical picture.
This happens when adhesions form, with the endometrial tissue extending at a close distance from the spinal joints.
In time, this can cause nerve damage and inflammation; the more the condition progresses, the more severe the joint pain is going to be (chronic compression).
If the endometrial tissue reaches too close to the spinal cord, it is possible that it will cause radiating pain. In general, the only way to resolve such symptoms is through a surgical intervention (removal of excess endometrial tissue).
The preferred method is laparoscopy, but even this procedure presents a high risk of nerve damage and other complications.
Given the fact that the ovaries and the uterus are close to the spine, it often happens that back pain appears as a symptom.
The patient might also engage in compensatory positions, trying to avoid the pain; in reality, these will only make the pain worse.
Often times, due to the pain, one will have difficulties standing or walking for large distances. It is also possible that the pain prevents the patient from sitting or lying down in a comfortable position.
#4 Chronic Joint Pain Can Have A Negative Impact On One’s Quality Of Life
Living with endometriosis often means living with chronic joint pain. This can have a negative impact on one’s quality of life, especially when the pain is severe and constantly present.
It often happens that the pain appears all of a sudden, without having a predictable pattern.
There are situations in which the pain lasts for several hours in a row, preventing the patient from engaging in daily living activities.
If the joint pain caused by endometriosis is chronic and severe in intensity, it can cause the patient to become dependent on painkillers. In this case, surgical intervention can be considered as a more efficient alternative (especially since there is a clear risk of addiction).
Painkillers might provide relief from the pain but the effect does not last for a long period of time. Moreover, they might make things worse – thus reinforcing the vicious cycle.
#5 Physical Therapy Can Improve Joint Health
Physical therapy is one of the most beneficial forms of treatment for those who suffer from Endometriosis.
The physical therapist performs an assessment of major joints, identifying the current range of motion and how the pain affects the functionality of the joints in question.
Based on the results of the assessment, he/she will recommend a program of exercises; these are meant to reduce the pain intensity and frequency, increase the range of motion and the overall functionality of the patient.
The physical therapist can also resort to manual therapy, in order to mobilize soft tissues and eliminate some of the adhesions that have formed at the level of the pelvis.
It is important to understand that one session of physical therapy is not enough to solve your problems; you can keep your symptoms under control by visiting the physical therapist on a regular basis.
One of the major benefits of physical therapy is that it strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor. It can also address the inflammation caused by the excess endometrial tissue, improving the physical appearance of the abdomen.
Physical therapy is also meant to stimulate the proper functioning of the lymphatic system, as well as to solve spasms at the level of hip flexors. Last, but not least, physical therapy can help with fascial release and visceral manipulation.
#6 Natural Remedies Can Be Of Great Use For Endometriosis
When one is suffering from joint pain caused by endometriosis, resorting to natural remedies is a great idea. Unlike medication, natural remedies do not cause discomforting side-effects and they do not present a risk for addiction.
Topical applications can improve the functionality and the range of motion in the affected joints; moreover, as the pain is reduced, the patient will enjoy a better state of mind.
There are many natural remedies that one can consider for Endometriosis, including drinking apple cider vinegar with warm water and honey.
You can also consume more ginger, as this has potent anti-inflammatory properties. A massage with mustard, eucalyptus or wintergreen oil can do wonders for the aching joints. Or, if you want, you can drink milk with turmeric powder.
Taking baths with Epsom salt can relieve both the pain and inflammation caused by endometriosis. You might also want to consider a massage using cinnamon and honey (paste).
Other natural remedies which can be beneficial for joint pain include fish oil, alfalfa seeds, cherries, and borage.
#7 Untreated Joint Pain Can Lead To Depression, Low Self-Esteem And Social Isolation
The joint pain caused by endometriosis can be quite severe, causing limitations in overall mobility. If the joint pain is combined with other symptoms, then the quality of life is even more affected.
In such situations, if no treatment is pursued, it is highly likely that the patient in question will begin to suffer from depression and anxiety. The feelings of low-esteem will lead to social isolation, which in turn will cause even more depression and anxiety.
Psychological counseling is more than necessary for someone who suffers from Endometriosis. The patient can be taught how to use effective coping techniques and also to maintain a positive state of mind.
The psychologist can work together with the patient in establishing a functional pattern for daily living activities. Moreover, one can take part in group therapy and discover that there are other women who are going exactly through the same situation.
Support groups can also be of great help, especially when one lacks the support of family members and/or friends.
Endometriosis is not an easy diagnostic, especially since it can cause such a wide range of discomforting symptoms. If you are experiencing joint pain due to endometriosis, do not hesitate to follow the recommendations included in this article.
You can also try hydrotherapy, as many movements are easier to be performed underwater. Moreover, water has a beneficial effect on aching joints, reducing both pain and inflammation.
If the joint pain caused by endometriosis is quite severe, you should also consider occupational therapy.
The therapist can teach you how to use your potential to the maximum; moreover, he/she can help you adapt to your living environment to your current level of functionality.
In the end, what matters is that you enjoy a satisfactory quality of life, regardless of the existent symptoms.
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