Abdominal exercises with an ileostomy

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Date Joined Jan 2007
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   Posted 9/21/2011 8:11 PM (GMT -6)   

Have had ileo for 4 years and have done a lot of travel, dance, walking, and swimming. Now going to PT for a balance and gait issue.

The PT has me doing pelvic tilts and very MINOR sit-ups (as in lying on my back with knees bent pelvic tilt, then raise my head and shoulders up off the mat for a few seconds) NOT a big deal. BUT my abdomen is sooooo sore. My ileo surgeon says it is fine to do this.

BUT last night I had a really deep what felt like intestinal pain and some pain behind the stoma until some solid food came out while I was in bed lying on that side. Luckily things moved through.

And have been fine stoma wise all the rest of the time.

My question, is it safe for someone with a stoma to be doing these very simple abdominal exercises for core strength for balance and gait issues, or is it best to really limit any action on the abs. After all having a stoma is like having a "made hernia" and people with hernia's don't go around doing abdominal strengthening exercises.

Let me know your take on this. Protecting my stoma. Rosemary

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Date Joined Aug 2006
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   Posted 9/21/2011 9:43 PM (GMT -6)   
i think it's fine, i've been doing real situps and i've even used the ab machine at the gym. Now, when i'm not super lazy, i do the insanity cardio abs, and it's not easy on the stomach! i personally think its better to keep the core strong, so you won't have as many problems with muscles.
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

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   Posted 9/21/2011 11:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Its ok to do some crunches to shorten rectus abdominus muscles up the front of the body, but there are other exercises for flattening and strengthening that are better and maybe safer for the average ostomate.

There are lots of PT I have met and asked questions about ostomies and they pretty much know nothing in regards to our condition. They learn basic anatomy stuff but not specific enough for my liking.

Have tried to study it a lot. Ask myself the same questions Rosemary.

Have thought about writing a small educational book on the subject with a couple Dr. friends. Will see where that one goes. SO much to do, so little time.

2b ColonFree
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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted Yesterday 5:02 AM (GMT -6)   
gosh, i'm not sure. have you talked with the stoma nurse about this? i think she's the one who'd know best.
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

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Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted Yesterday 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with tri girl 100%.. there is nothing out there even on the web and PT's and even surgeons have little understanding. It's very misleading! Physios have the best knowledge but you need to find a good one. Perhaps we should get together, Trigirl, and write an international best seller! ;-)

There are better exercises than 'sit ups' and I try to avoid them. BUT you do need to some core stability work - that is different from crunches or sit ups and involves strengthening the deep transverse abdominals (TVA). Also exercises for your glutes, low back, hip flexors and shoulder girdle. There are exercises where you lie on your back, knees bent and suck in your deep abdominal muscles - pulling navel to spine - whilst relaxing the surface muscles. Hold for 5 seconds then release - repeat 5-10 times. You can then develop that to lifting a heel etc. But it's ideal if your PT or physio can supervise to check you're doing it right. Try not to be too worried about causing a hernia though - you're more likely to get one if your core and TVA is weak.

If you email me I can send you a sheet of exercises I've been doing which might help... johnandsaz@aol.com

Sarah - 39 year old mum of 2 boys, runner/triathlete from UK
June/Oct 2010 - Peritonitis/perforated diverticulitis. Sigmoid colectomy, temp ileo then reversed.
DX Colonic dysmotility.
July 2011 - Permanent end Ileostomy after begging surgeon to put it back
Follow my blog - http://bagthatruns.blogspot.com/

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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted Yesterday 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Iron. My PT modified things today so that I am doing basically what you describe above. My email is rosemaryjablonski@comcast.net if you would like to email me the exercises. Thanks. Rosemary
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