Last year I caused some damage in my knee that required surgery. With my knee being injured, it became unstable and other muscles jumped to the rescue. The body likes to be in balance, and when it’s not it will try to get itself back into balance. My hip began hurting, then my back, and then my shoulder. My body was creating a chain reaction of compensation to counter the instability in my knee. When I was given permission to use my knee again, it began with rehabilitation.
It’s similar to what happens to our bodies during pregnancy. As the baby grows, our core muscles become weaker and more strained. As a result, the spine and pelvis become more unstable and other muscles kick in to compensate. Our paraspinal muscles (muscles that support your back), take up the slack and become tight. The psoas (muscles that helps move your legs) begins to start stabilizing the spine, causing your hip flexors to get really tight. Your TFL (a muscle in your hip that helps stabilize your hip and knee with help from your glutes) starts working hard to stabilize the pelvis. With its attention going elsewhere, your glutes are no longer firing and they get weak.
Fast forward to after birth, and now you have a weak core, weak pelvic floor, and your back, hips, and glutes have taken up other jobs and none of its working like it’s supposed to. If this were any other injury, your physical therapist would tell you to balance out the other muscles before going back to “normal” so that you don’t injure yourself. In pregnancy, we are told to rest for 6 weeks and then just go back to normal. If we try to go back to normal without strengthening the core first, the compensating muscles have to work even harder and become strained. This leads to injury down the road.
Be gentle with your recovery. Rebuild muscles in your core that have become weak. Stretch and release tension that has built up in the hip flexors and back. Once you get muscles working the way they are supposed to, it’s then safe to return back to normal. Yoga is a great way to recover safely. If you’re interested in working with me to create a customized plan to rebuild your core safely, let’s chat! You can set up a free 30 minute consultation here!