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Pilates for abdominal adhesion pain

Abdominal adhesions are fibrous scars that form in the tissues of your abdomen. The scar tissues cause organs to stick to the abdominal wall and other organs. Causes for abdominal adhesions include abdominal surgery, but they can also be caused by an infection of the membrane covering your abdominal organs called peritonitis. You can develop peritonitis after having an infection in your abdomen or having appendicitis. Endometriosis, a condition affecting women, can also result in abdominal adhesions. Pilates exercises may help improve adhesions, and diminish your symptoms.

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Diagnosis and Treatment

Visit your doctor to be diagnosed with abdominal adhesions. Your doctor will examine your abdominal area and take X-rays to rule out an intestinal strangulation or blockage. Females may also have a pelvic examination. Blood tests may also be conducted. Some adhesions can cause severe complications, such as partial or complete blockages of your intestines, which can prove fatal in some cases if left untreated.

The intestines can become strangulated if blood supply is cut off to that portion of intestines due to abdominal adhesion formations. Surgery must be performed to remove the adhesions and to restore your intestinal health to normal. Abdominal adhesions may also cause intense abdominal cramping, gastrointestinal complications, abdominal swelling, abdominal distension, bloating, diminished bowel movements, and dehydration. These symptoms may be indicative of strangulated intestines, and you should contact a doctor immediately.

Pilates Benefits

In Pilates for Fragile Backs: Recovering Strength & Flexibility After Surgery, Injury, or Other Back Problems, authors Andra Fischgrund Stanton, Ruth Hiatt-Coblentz, Andra Fischgrund Stanton, and Ruth H. Coblentz explain that starting Pilates sooner rather than later can serve as a preventive measure for adhesion formations and the formation of undesirable scar tissues. In Pilates: Harmonious Body Control, Patricia Lamond explains that the creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, believed that the abdominal muscles are the powerhouse of the body responsible for movement control. Thus, many Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the abdominals, especially the transversus abdominals located in your lower abdomen below your navel area.


In Pilates for Every Body: Strengthen, Lengthen, and Tone With This Complete 3-Week Body Makeover, Denise Austin explains that stretching the body before performing Pilates is vital for your flexibility. Lengthening your body via stretching can ease soreness and tenderness, diminish fatigue, promote proper circulation, and adequately vent adhesions, and get oxygen and blood to the areas where abdominal adhesions have formed. Austin also explains that performing Pilates helps improve your posture; instead of compensating for weak abdominals by forcing hips forward and the body out of alignment, Pilates can strengthen the abdominals, diminish abdominal adhesions, and restore your posture to its proper alignment. Common stretches focus on stretching the hips, the groin, the shoulders, and the hamstrings.

Staccato Breathing

In Pilates: Harmonious Body Control, Patricia Lamond explains that Staccato Breathing, a Pilates exercise, can strengthen abdominal muscles. For this exercise, position yourself on a mat in a prostrate position. Place your hands on your abdomen. Spread your fingers and aim toward your navel. Contract your abdominals through the course of 10 repetitions by drawing your navel toward your spine. Breathe in six times deeply by taking short breaths, and exhale out after you complete the first set of six short breaths. Perform this exercise daily to lessen the chances of forming abdominal adhesions and to improve existing issues with adhesion formations.

Rolling Like a Ball

Patricia Lamond also argues that the Pilates exercise involving Rolling Like a Ball can help improve your mobility and intensify abdominal muscles. For this exercise, sit on a mat with your knees drawn up toward your torso and your back curved into a C-curve. Place your hands on your knees; roll backward as you maintain the curled position, and roll forward to return to your original position. Repeat this exercise 10 times to strengthen your abdominals. Perform this exercise daily to reduce the chances of forming abdominal adhesions and to improve existing issues with adhesion formations.

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About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.

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