If My Belly Is the Problem, Why Does My Back Hurt?

Many people suffer from back pain, and back pain has a huge list of possible causes. But one item on that list that many people don't think of is the other half of their trunk: the belly.

Our bellies are there to do a lot more than just look good in a bathing suit (although that is a great part of it). Our bellies also support our cores, and as a result, they balance out our backs. When I was a kickboxer many moons ago, I remember my trainer used to tell me how important it was to work out my back in order to support my belly. He warned me about doing too many crunches without working on the other side, realizing that if I didn't do a well-rounded job with my workouts I might get thrown off and actually end up injured. He was right- and it turns out it works the other way around too.

So many of us fail to hold our posture, and we work out erratically, forgetting to exercise the "other" muscles that we have. But one key time when this problem really rears its head is after baby-making. Bellies can take a lot of stress, but baby making is as real as it gets. For most moms, by the time you finish, the strength and structure of the abdominal wall is all but lost.

With the muscles off alignment and the tissues all stretched out, even the best of workout efforts are likely to fail. Furthermore, pushing even harder without the right balance can cause an even more extreme stress on your core- and more pain. Rebuilding your belly, whether surgically or non, can sometimes be a huge help in finding that balance and sometimes even in relieving that pain. For some patients, a weak belly can even mean trouble going to the bathroom, since pushing down to get stuff out is another important role that the beautiful belly is supposed to play. Misery.

Your belly wall is actually a bigger part of your overall health than it's made out to be. Ripped abs are sweet, but they are more than just eye candy. A strong and balanced core helps you stand up straight, feel alright, and work that middle the way it's supposed to. Getting a proper assessment can help you figure out what is causing all of that drama- and that's the first step to getting better.


Mommy Rehab?

If you broke your ankle, you would get surgery, wound care, and then 8 months of structured, carefully measured rehab.

If you pulled a muscle, you would be instructed to rest it for at least 6 weeks- how else could it possibly recover?

And yet, after you have children, even several children, even pulled out of you c-section children, there is no prescribed course of rehabilitation. Your mind, your body, your everything is forever different and you can barely recognize any of it. And you are left to your own devices.

Post-partum rehab is a very real, important, totally unexplored field of medicine. What is should look like is physical strength and balance training, belly support, surgical reconstruction if needed, pelvic floor exercises in measured amounts, psychological support, and nutritional counseling. What it looks like now is, "You have issues? What do you expect? You had three kids!"

My mommy mission is to help women start asking the right questions before, during, and after baby-making. I want to help moms recruit the support, information, and professionals that they need to literally get and keep it together. Join us tomorrow at the Motherhood Center, and let's start the conversation. https://www.themotherhoodcenter.com/classes-and-education/#recover-your-belly