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endOMetriosis + back pain (normal until it's not!)

By Felicia Hilscher

THU JAN 14, 2021

endOMetriosis + back pain (normal, until it's not!)

It’s amazing how our body and mind adjust and compensate for pain. We figure out ways around the pain (if it’s not too severe that is) and move on. It becomes part of our every day norm…until it’s not.

I never realized how much my Endometriosis had weaved itself into my every day life until I had my laparoscopic surgery and was finally diagnosed.

Prior to my surgery, I couldn’t really stand for a long period of time. After 2 hours of standing in the kitchen prepping and cooking for the week ahead, I’d end up on the couch with everything from my abdomen down to my feet throbbing.

And I got used to that throbbing. It was what it was!

Fast forward to my laparoscopic surgery (that I requested) which finally diagnosed me with Endometriosis.

I was a week post-op when my husband and I went to Chicago for one of his bagpipe competitions (yep…bagpipes!). We were staying for a few days in a hotel right in the heart of Chicago which meant lots of walking.

I remember the first day of exploring. We had probably walked 3-4 hours straight and I realized my low back didn’t hurt. I was able to still stand up straight, and there was no throbbing from my abdomen down to my feet (I was sore…I mean…we had been walking awhile, but it wasn’t pain).

It was then that I realized how much my body had been compensating because of pain.

Fast forward again to today…roughly 7 years post-op, and I’m still not experiencing throbbing pain from standing long periods of time. Don’t get me wrong, some days it still happens (mostly around ovulation and menstruation), but it’s not a constant experience.

I’m also learning so much about pelvic health and supportive ways to move to strengthen my core without causing pain. In my opinion, because my abdomen was always on fire, I did everything in my power to ignore it (i.e. keep it from flaring up). Which meant not utilizing my abdominal muscles, putting all the compensation into my low back.

I had no idea if I pressed into my feet while standing I’d activate my legs more. Giving more support to my low back.

Or if I stuck my butt back and put my weight over my heels more, I’d get some more support.

Or…this was a biggie for me…if I relaxed my ribcage (instead of thrusting it forward), I’d be able to breathe easier and…you guessed it…support my low back.

I’m learning how important all the muscles…I’m talking to you glutes, piriformis, quads, and multifidus…surrounding my pelvis are to supporting my core.

How breathing helps deregulate my nervous system and create more space through my spine.

How ligaments and fascia connect to everything!

Overall lesson…your body continually sends you signals. Sometimes the signals start quiet…then get louder…then keep knocking at your door until you finally answer.

We will all find relief and healing in different ways, but advocating for yourself and finding a functional multi-layer approach is usually the best bet!

For me, yoga and movement was key (before and after my surgery), and I’m honored to be able to share that with all of you.

p.s. I send out movement + musings throughout the month in my newsletter. If you’d like some short + sweet movements to add to your day sent straight to your inbox, be sure to subscribe at www.javayogini.com.