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Thread: Suggestions for getting rid of pregnant belly look!

  1. #1
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    Suggestions for getting rid of pregnant belly look!

    Would love any suggestions on how to get rid of my pregnant looking belly. Had, as you can see in my signature line, surgery in '09; I am now just stating to put some weight on, unfortunately, it is all in my upper portion of my stomach. Not sure how one is able to tone this area when they are fused all the down to the pelvic,
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolores a View Post
    Would love any suggestions on how to get rid of my pregnant looking belly. Had, as you can see in my signature line, surgery in '09; I am now just stating to put some weight on, unfortunately, it is all in my upper portion of my stomach. Not sure how one is able to tone this area when they are fused all the down to the pelvic,
    I am not fused to the pelvis so I don't know your true range of mobility. The goal would be to tone the area as much as possible. The exercises that use no motion, that I personally use myself, are planks front and side as well as stomach vacuums. (A personal favorite).

    These are the only core exercises I do and I have very prominent abs/obliques.

  3. #3
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    Can you please describe the stomach vacuum that you mention?
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  4. #4
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    Thanks Stephan, I was able to look up the plank suggestion, seems to be a yoga position; have to look at it a bit more because with not being able to bend. Also would you explain the vacuum.
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolores a View Post
    Thanks Stephan, I was able to look up the plank suggestion, seems to be a yoga position; have to look at it a bit more because with not being able to bend. Also would you explain the vacuum.
    The stomach vacuum is a technique designed to tighten and hold your abdominal muscles into place in order to strengthen the muscles. Just like the plank, it requires no bending of any sort.

    Step 1: Sit straight up. Arm position does not matter.
    Step 2: Take a DEEP breath into your chest cavity. Meaning, you want to store all the air in your rib-cage, not your stomach.
    Step 3: Exhale slowly while also pulling your diaphragm/abs into your chest. (Think in AND up) Hold this for as long as possible.
    Step 4: Breath regularly for a few moments and then repeat as many times as you'd like.

    There are youtube videos that can explain it with the visual aspect being included.

    The advantage of these is that they can be done anywhere at any time.

  6. #6
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    I just want to echo that you don't have to bend to develop pretty decent core muscles. I ride dressage (not jumping) and that is basically all isometric core work with the goal of invisible cues to the horse and the rider looking like they are "just" sitting up with good posture. Until recently, I did nothing core-wise off the horse but yet had pretty hard abs. I built them literally almost invisibly.

    I now have joined a gym and have a personal trainer mainly to spend more time with my husband. But I am doing actual targeted core work which is mostly planking as such. I haven't many sit ups yet. You would be amazed how many variations there are for planking (front, side, on a TRX, on a ball, in a box, with a fox, etc.) and they all hit the core, some harder than others. :-)
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #7
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    Thanks Sharon, I am going to look into planking, I see it mentioned also in the non-surgery area also, but it mentioned it was used to keep curves from increasing. Before my fusion I did a little Pilates; I think part of it is like you mentioned, isometrics and be conscious of holding those muscles in. Though sometimes I feel like it is the way I stand now, almost like my hips are in a forward position making my belly pop out
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolores a View Post
    Thanks Sharon, I am going to look into planking, I see it mentioned also in the non-surgery area also, but it mentioned it was used to keep curves from increasing. Before my fusion I did a little Pilates; I think part of it is like you mentioned, isometrics and be conscious of holding those muscles in. Though sometimes I feel like it is the way I stand now, almost like my hips are in a forward position making my belly pop out
    I have noticed some patients have said they were fused with a good deal of lordosis in order to avoid flat-back syndrome I suppose. If you are fused with a large lordosis, I am not sure core work can reduce your abs. Essentially that is your lumbar coming forward through your body I guess. You can ask your surgeon about this and whether you can tilt your pelvis back or not.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #9
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    I will look at my surgical report to see if there is mention of lordosis. I've read on this forum topics about lordosis, and what get, guess, is in order to prevent flat back, the lordosis creates a bit of a sway inwards at the base of your back, which I guess again, makes the stomach protrude forward?
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  10. #10
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    I have the same protruding abdomen problem and have about decided to just accept it. My husband swears I didn't have this before surgery and I do now have a definite lumbar lordosis, where before I had lumbar kyphosis, so it was a big change for me. But I STILL think my stomach sticks out more than it should. I have lost 7 lbs since having surgery (BMI is now down to 19) and went through 6 weeks of physical therapy where I did pretty intense core work. My abdominal muscles are now stronger than they have ever been, but my stomach still sticks out. I have the figure of a toddler from the side! Well, almost. :-)

    Anyway, many of the core exercises in PT were done laying flat on my back, so bending is not an issue. I think one is called the 'dead bug' and the others are variations on these. There are a ton of links if you google 'dead bug exercise'. I have discovered that 50's style dresses with a defined waist and full skirt are a good look for me now. I never had a waist before and the full skirt hides the tummy. Good luck!
    Before 39* lumbar at age 18, progressed to 74* lumbar and 22* thoracic age 55
    ALIF Jan 13, 2015, PLIF Jan 15, 2015 with Dr William Stevens, Honor Health
    Fused T-7 to S-1 with pelvic fixation

    After 38* lumbar

    Xrays
    Before: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...7&d=1414268930

    After: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...6&d=1424894360

  11. #11
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    I guess it will be something to live with, not the worst, and like you I can be good at dressing to make it not so obvious! I still don't get the kyphosis/lordosis difference! My lower back always had that inward slope, did get a bit of my waist back on one side. I will still want to get my core stronger though; going to look into the exercises suggested here. Thanks for the replies!
    Dolores A
    June 4, 2009 Anterior L3 - S1
    June 8, 2009 Posterior T4 - Pelvis
    Mark Agulnick, MD FAAOS
    NY Spine & Scoliosis Center

  12. #12
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    illinois
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    I also have the belly problem. I found that doing side leg lifts help. Also a lot of walking with arm motion. It is hard to understand why this belly thing is a problem but it seems that clothing doesn't fit right and I also didn't have this problem before surgery.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

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