A recent study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that yoga helped many endometriosis patients with chronic pelvic pain (CPP), and had a positive effect on their quality of life.
Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by the abnormal growth of the inner tissue of the uterus. The disease affects approximately 10 percent of women, of which 50 percent can suffer from infertility or CPP.
There is no cure for endometriosis or its symptoms. Not even surgical intervention has been proven to be completely effective, with many women who undergo surgery still suffering from CPP symptoms.
Many endometriosis patients also have psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety. A main objective in the treatment and management of this disease is focused on improving the quality of life of the patients.
Modern alternative and complementary methods to western medicine have shown some beneficial effects on several chronic diseases. Mind-body practices such as yoga may improve the immune system, control stress and pain, and can benefit patients’ mental health.
The authors of the study “The Practice of Hatha Yoga for the Treatment of Pain Associated with Endometriosis” intended to analyze the beneficial impact that the practice of yoga could have in endometriosis patients.
They evaluated the CPP, menstrual patterns, and quality of life of a group of women with endometriosis and associated CPP who participated in an eight-week yoga intervention, and compared them to a group of women with endometriosis and associated CPP who did not practice yoga.
The authors found that the women who practiced yoga had lower levels of daily pain compared to the non-yoga group. And the women in the yoga group reported an improvement in their quality of life, which included areas such as control, emotional well-being, and self-image.
Additionally, the authors could not observe any changes in infertility or menstrual patterns in the groups, which suggests that yoga did not impact these endometriosis symptoms.
“This study showed that yoga practice was associated with a reduction in levels of CPP and an improvement in [quality of life] in women with endometriosis,” the authors concluded.