Core exercises are beneficial to any exercise program. After stoma surgery, it is recommended to strengthen your core for many important reasons.
The abdominal area, together with the spine, is often considered the core of the body. The abdominal muscles, through which the stoma protrudes, are a part of this core.
Strengthening the core of the body through exercise can lead to better posture and increased body awareness. Core exercises may also accelerate the healing process and help you reduce the risk of developing a hernia around the stoma, also known as a parastomal hernia.
Your abdominal wall
The abdominal wall extends from the base of the chest to the top of the hip-bone. Under the skin, there is fatty tissue, connective tissue, and the superficial abdominal muscles. These muscles form the framework of the abdominal wall.
The umbilicus (navel), surgical scars, and the area around the stoma are all sites of potential weakness within the abdominal wall.
Strengthening your core
Have you heard of a corset? It is a tight-fitting bodice that shapes and supports the body. This is similar to the relationship of our abdomen with our spine.
Everyone has their own muscular corset around the spine. It is a functional working unit that shapes and supports the body, and it can be exercised. This muscular corset is the centre of the body and is very important for movement, posture, and the shape of our spine and abdomen.
Each movement we make affects the abdominal and back muscles; this means that even the small movement of an arm can be measured in the abdominal and back muscles.
Therefore, consider your muscle corset as an important concept when strengthening your core.
Discuss core exercises with your healthcare team
Your healthcare team, including your stoma care nurse, can provide guidance on specific exercises that may help you recover and strengthen your core.
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