Home > What We Treat > Autoimmune Issues

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After diagnosis with an autoimmune disorder it’s important to take steps to address functional changes.

An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. Approximately 78% of persons with autoimmune diseases are women [source].

Researchers suspect that this may have to do with everything from genetics to the gut biome. Some tie these disorders to evolutionary factors. Immune system hypervigilance may have given certain women advantages in fertility. 

Whatever the root cause, there are interesting patterns that have emerged in the ongoing research. For instance, certain autoimmune disorders tend to emerge or decline during and after specific life transitions. Some, like lupus and multiple sclerosis (MS) tend to appear during childbearing years, while others, like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Graves’ disease tend to ramp down during pregnancy [source].

ARtists rendering of a nerve cell being attacked by antibodies.

Other research suggests that women predisposed to autoimmune disorders can lesson symptoms or even prevent them from happening by adopting certain lifesyle changes, including exercising and getting adequite sleep. [source].

Autoimmune diseases can disrupt a woman’s normal function with muscle weakness, fatigue, painful muscles, or swollen joints. These symptoms can lead to physical dysfunction or even disability.

Physical therapy can help restore functional ability lost because of inflammation, pain, deconditioning, and even neurological symptoms [source].

Working with the therapists at You’re In CONTROL!, women can better achieve optimal physical functioning and adapt to changes in their bodies.


1.  Fairweather D, Rose NR. Women and Autoimmune Diseases. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2004;10(11):2005-2011. doi:10.3201/eid1011.040367.

2. Moyer, M. W. (2021, September 1). Why Nearly 80 Percent of Autoimmune Sufferers Are Female. Scientific American. Retrieved April 13, 2023, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-nearly-80-percent-of-autoimmune-sufferers-are-female/

3. Angum F, Khan T, Kaler J, Siddiqui L, Hussain A. The Prevalence of Autoimmune Disorders in Women: A Narrative Review. Cureus. 2020 May 13;12(5):e8094. doi: 10.7759/cureus.8094. PMID: 32542149; PMCID: PMC7292717.

4. Gurcay E, Akinci A. Autoinflammatory Diseases and Physical Therapy. Mediterranean Journal of Rheumatology. 2017 Dec 22;28(4):183-191. DOI: 10.31138/mjr.28.4.183. PMID: 32185281; PMCID: PMC7046004.

The statistics speak for themselves.

0 %
Of the overall population will develop an autoimmune disease in their lifetime.


0 %
Or more of people with autoimmune illnesses are female.


0 %
Of autoimmune diseases are likely genetic, 70% are caused by other factors.


We can help with these (and other) autoimmune issues:

(Click each issue to expand and learn more.)



Fibromyalgia can affect many parts of the body causing a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is often called an “invisible illness” because it doesn’t affect the major organs, can’t be revealed with x-rays or blood tests, and isn’t life threatening. Physical symptoms of fibromyalgia aren’t visible from the outside or easily measurable by healthcare providers. 

Women suffering from fibromyalgia can face skepticism from people such as friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and even healthcare providers because they don’t understand what’s wrong. 

Researchers are not sure exactly what causes fibromyalgia; although, genetics may play a role in up to 50% of cases [source]. Women of childbearing years seem to have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.

An individually tailored physical therapy program moves women to take control of fibromyalgia.

Click image to view a larger version.
Mikael Häggström, Public domain image, via Wikimedia Commons

Appropriate and individualized treatment can:

  • reduce joint stiffness and improve range of motion
  • strengthen muscles to stabilize joints
  • improve cardiac endurance
    retrain neurological coordination to reduce fall risk
  • reduce stress and weight gain
    improve sleep patterns
  • decrease feelings of depression often associated with fibromyalgia

Potential treatment options for fibromyalgia can include:

  • Manual Therapy for Pain Relief
  • Therapeutic and Restorative Exercise
  • Neurological Reeducation
  • Dietary Coaching with Menu Planning
  • Education on Energy
  • Conservation Techniques

It is not normal to live with chronic pain, fatigue, or the other associated symptoms of fibromyalgia. You can discover a new normal! 

You can take control of Fibromyalgia with physical therapy.


D’Agnelli S, Arendt-Nielsen L, Gerra MC, Zatorri K, Boggiani L, Baciarello M, Bignami E. Fibromyalgia: Genetics and epigenetics insights may provide the basis for the development of diagnostic biomarkers. Molecular Pain. 2019 Jan-Dec;15:1744806918819944. DOI: 10.1177/1744806918819944. Epub 2018 Nov 29. PMID: 30486733; PMCID: PMC6322092.



Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints or tissues around joints. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, with most of them causing pain and stiffness in and around affected joint(s).

An anotomical illustration showing Osteoarthritis and normal joint anatomy,

Some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, also affect the immune system and some internal organs of the body.

Physical therapy for arthritis is proven to be effective in:

  • improving the mobility and restoring the use of affected joints
  • increasing strength to support the joints
  • maintaining fitness
  • preserving the ability to perform daily activities

Our physical therapy program moves women to Take CONTROL! of arthritis.

Multiple Sclerosis


A regular exercise program can reduce some symptoms.

Multiple sclerosis, MS, is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Experts believe MS is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system attacking and damaging the nervous system.

A diagram showing the neurological effects of Multiple Sclerosis.

BruceBlaus, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

MS damages the outer covering of nerve cells, called myelin, a fatty tissue that protects nerve cells in the same way that insulation protects electrical wiring in a house. Myelin helps nerve fibers conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain. Scar tissue, called sclerosis, accumulates when multiple areas of myelin are damaged. These damaged areas are known as plaques or lesions. Sometimes the nerve fiber itself is damaged and dies.

About 400,000 Americans, mostly young adults, suffer from MS. It occurs almost twice as frequently among women than men.

Although there is no cure, most MS patients lead active lives for many years after their diagnosis and have a normal life span. However, MS can be tiring and require schedule and lifestyle adjustments. A regular exercise program can reduce some symptoms. We create tailored physical and occupational therapy treatment plans to relieve symptoms, reduce the severity and duration of MS attacks, and halt or slow progression of the disease.

Our physical therapy program can help you deal with multiple sclerosis and Take CONTROL! of your life!

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)


IBD significantly affects quality of life.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) are chronic remittent or progressive inflammatory conditions that may affect the entire gastrointestinal tract and the colonic mucosa, respectively.

Women who experience loose stool with IBD unknowingly tighten the pelvic floor chronically to avoid leakage, leading to pelvic muscle tension, and discoordination that makes it difficult to hold. Constipation and straining may also interfere with healthy muscle activity by creating prolonged stress on the supporting tissues in the pelvis and pelvic floor. 

An anotomical illustration of two different manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease.

Treatment may include:

  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
  • Neuromuscular Reeducation
  • Bowel Retraining
  • EMG Biofeedback
  • Compensatory Strategies
  • Behavioral Intervention
  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Dietary Adaptive Techniques

Achieving control is possible using a holistic approach to treatment.


Decide to Take Control
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Don’t put it off. Decide to take control of your body.


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Use the app, do your exercises, take control of your life.


You’re in Control!
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Feel like a natural woman again!

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