08 July, 2011
Stretching Exercises for Adhesions in the Pelvic Area
Pelvic adhesions refer to scar tissue that occurs in the muscles that support the pelvis. When muscle tissue is damaged, scar tissue will form during the body's natural repair process. Scar tissue contains non-contractile cells made up of collagen. Because collagen does not contract with the muscle, its presence can hinder your muscle's ability to contract. This can lead to a loss of strength and flexibility, as well as cause pain in the affected muscle. Stretching is one way to help break up scar tissue and realign it so that the collagen fibers and the muscle fibers are lined up in the same direction. By doing so, you can regain some of the flexibility lost as the scar tissue formed.
This stretch affects the large muscles of the abdominals that attach to the pelvis, particularly the rectus abdominis. Lie flat on your stomach with your legs out straight behind you and your palms on the floor at your shoulders. Point your toes down so that the tops of your feet touch the floor. Next, fully extend your arms, lifting your head, shoulders and chest off the floor. Raise your chin up, and arch your back until you feel a stretch through your abdominals. Hold this position for 25 to 30 seconds.
The leg crossover stretch targets the muscles that attach to the posterior and lateral sides of your pelvis, including the gluteal and hip adductor muscles. Lie flat on your back with your legs out straight. Bend one leg and cross it over the top of your other leg so that your foot is flat on the floor on the far side of your knee. With your opposite hand, hold on to the outside of your knee and gently pull it toward the floor. Pull until you feel a deep stretch in your butt, and hold for 25 to 30 seconds. Relax and perform the same stretch with your other leg.
Lying Abdominal Stretch
This stretch targets the middle and deep muscles of your abdominals. Lie on your back flat on the floor, with your arms extended straight over your head and the back of your hands resting on the floor. Next, attempt to lift your chest away from your waist by reaching up with your arms. Hold this extended position for 25 to 30 seconds.
This stretch targets the external obliques, which are the muscles on either side of your abdominals that insert on the outer ridge of your pelvis. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet together and flat on the floor. Extend both arms to the left side of your body with your hands in line with your chest. At the same time, drop both of your knees to the right side of your body toward the floor. Keep your feet together as you bring your knees to the floor. Hold this position for 25 to 30 seconds and switch sides.
- "Essentials of Strength and Conditioning"; Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle; 2000
- "Physiology of Sport and Exercise"; Jack H. Wilmore and David L. Costill; 2004
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images