My back pain developed from my first pregnancy and by the time my second child was 6/7 years old it had got to a stage where my whole life was affected. I had it diagnosed as a worn disc and my doctor said the only help on offer was physiotherapy or pain relief. I tried the physiotherapy but it made no difference (actually it seemed to make it worse) and I wasn't comfortable with taking painkillers every day for the rest of my life so tried to avoid them - with the consequence that I woke up every morning in pain (usually in the early hours) and was having constantly disrupted sleep. At the same time as this was going on, my stomach seemed to be getting larger and larger and it was clear my stomach muscles were quite badly separated. So the main reason to get a tummy tuck was cosmetic, but in the back of my mind I was also hoping it might help my back.
About 2 months after the surgery I started pilates classes. The back condition up to this point was as bad as ever and I was bitterly disappointed that the surgery hadn't been the 'silver bullet' I was hoping for, but my consultant insisted that pilates would help me a lot and he was right. I did some one-to-one sessions and I also bought a couple of DVD's so I had a reasonable idea of the main pilates routines. Over a period of months I worked out one or two very simple daily exercises that I was comfortable with and only took a minute or so and kept the stomach muscles toned. I still do these now and when I stop doing them for a few days, the pain returns. There are also a few rules I follow which are probably applicable to anyone with back pain:
- I always sit with my back supported so I can't slouch
- when I wake up, I get up - dozing and being half awake/half asleep makes me toss and turn and aggravates the condition
- I only sit in chairs I know work for me i.e. consistently haven't caused me to lose sleep. Seat height and desk height both very important.
I should also mention that although a large part of fixing my back has been pilates exercises, those exercises wouldn't be possible without the surgery. I tried for many years to do 'core' exercises and never succeeded in following the instructions - after the surgery it was so easy it was like I had a brand new body.
I hope my review helps others in the same situation.