Dysmenorrhea refers to painful menstrual periods, often accompanied by cramping and discomfort in the lower abdomen. While it is a common condition, physical therapy can offer effective strategies for managing dysmenorrhea. Here’s how physical therapy can help:
- Education and lifestyle modifications: Physical therapists can provide education on menstrual health, anatomy, and factors that may contribute to dysmenorrhea. They can offer guidance on lifestyle modifications such as exercise, nutrition, stress management, and relaxation techniques to help alleviate symptoms.
- Pelvic floor muscle relaxation: Dysmenorrhea can be associated with increased tension or spasms in the pelvic floor muscles. Physical therapists can teach relaxation techniques and stretches to release tension in the pelvic floor, reducing pain and discomfort during menstruation.
- Core and pelvic floor exercises: Strengthening the core and pelvic floor muscles can help improve support and stability in the pelvis. Physical therapists can prescribe specific exercises to target these muscle groups, potentially reducing pain and improving overall pelvic function.
- Manual therapy techniques: Physical therapists trained in pelvic health may use manual therapy techniques such as myofascial release, trigger point release, visceral mobilization or gentle joint mobilizations to address muscle imbalances, reduce pain, and improve mobility in the pelvis and lower abdomen.
- Postural and movement retraining: Poor posture and movement patterns can contribute to increased pain during menstruation. Physical therapists can assess your posture and movement mechanics and provide guidance on proper body mechanics to reduce strain on the pelvis and minimize discomfort.
- Pain management strategies: Physical therapists can teach pain management techniques such as breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and guided imagery to help manage pain during menstruation.
Our skilled team of pelvic floor physical therapists will perform a thorough evaluation to identify areas of impairment that are contributing to your symptoms. Following the exam, your physical therapist will work with you to create a plan of care that best suits your personal goals and needs.