I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts or experience about getting back into high impact exercise following childbirth?
I'm in my late 30s and gave birth to my second child about 18 months ago, and from early on in the pregnancy I had very bad pelvic girdle pain (PGP) which really affected my day to day life; I went to bed in pain and woke up in pain, and could hardly walk towards the end. After giving birth, it eased up, and I wasn't constantly in pain, though even a brisk walk would bring it back. Carrying on the next nine or so months, the pain finally gave way--until I wanted to take up running again (after a five year hiatus); I first took up running when my oldest child was about nine months old, and had no problems. This time I could only run about three steps before I was back in agonizing pelvic pain which lasted several weeks.
This has been the case since. I can't run without pain, and it's the kind of pain that tells me something's wrong, not that I'm just out of condition/stretching unused muscles. I can manage a brisk walk, though even that gives me little twinges, as does pushing, pulling and lifting heavy things. I've learned to stop if I feel that pain.
I've tried stretches found online, which help ease pain a bit (pain lasts only one or two days instead of a week). They don't seem to prevent the pain, which is what I'm after. I would like to be able to run again without hurting myself.
Carrying and birthing a baby puts a lot of stress on your body. Without examination and diagnostics it’s hard to say what might be amiss. You could have some nerve damage or strain on joints. It could be muscle damage. It will most likely improve with time and TLC. Then when you get old (like me), it will probably come back, at least to a degree. Biologically speaking, running is something humans are supposed to do when being chased by a tiger. We, most of us, aren’t built to withstand that continuous stress on joints and tissues.
I know you probably find running exhilarating and freeing. I feel that way when I run, but I’ve never been able to run long distances, not even when I was young. For now I encourage you to enjoy short runs, but not longer than you find enjoyable. Stop before it starts to hurt. You’re in danger of reinjuring yourself at that point. Maybe you’ll find bicycle riding easier on your body. I adore bicycle riding. Bonus, it still burns calories. If you’re trying to lose mommy weight, walking will do it, accompanied by just about any diet that restricts calories to less than what you’re burning off. I know this. I lost over a hundred pounds doing exactly that. Don’t get discouraged. You’ll recover; just don’t go hurting yourself worse by trying to “push past the pain.” The pain is there to tell you something and to keep you from harming yourself further.
Do see a doctor if you can, but don’t abdicate your personal control/responsibility for your health. Don’t assume the doctor is right or wrong. Look into things for yourself and make your own decisions thoughtfully and with care. With most women, I think the response to a situation like yours would be to just accept it as the cost of having children and hope it gets better. In some cases that might be the right response for that person. Other times, maybe not. You can find lots of PT exercises online, and some may help. Just don’t strain yourself trying to force yourself to get better. That sort of strategy might work for simple reconditioning, but it won’t help in the case of actual injury—which it does sound like you’ve experienced in carrying your babies. (It’s lucky they’re so cute, huh?) ;-)
Tomorrow doesn’t exist and never will. There is only the eternal now. Do it now.
I was amazed at how long it took my pelvic issues (muscle separation and resulting pain/weakness) to sort themselves out after birth-- probably a good 4 years.
Not saying that is your case, but to be kind to yourself-- those transformations are nothing short of astonishing, and it might take a long time to get back to normal. I think it would be good to see your doctor, just in case- it could be you have some positional/physical alteration (like a nerve got pinched and stayed pinched) that can be fixed.
Some sort of targeted muscle work (like pilates) might help if you're cleared. hope you stop hurting!!
I had my fourth and last child 22 years ago, and my back has never been the same. For about 8 years, by 4:00 in the afternoon I could barely walk, but with four children I wasn't able to take the time to recover. At this point in time, I have more time to work on body issues. It's really helping, but it's a process. I'm not a big believer in western medicine. I've had better luck with natural healing.
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