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6
Aug
2015

Can Abdominoplasty Help Cure Back Pain?

Yes. In fact, it almost always does. My tummy tuck patients in Montreal have certainly reported this, and the connection of tummy tuck surgery and decreased back pain has been established in various studies. Time and again, research has shown that abdominoplasty decreases or eliminates chronic back pain in a majority of patients. As wonderful as this finding is, it is not a surprise to cosmetic surgeons. The basic procedure of an abdominoplasty all but guarantees an improvement to back alignment, so it makes sense that it would lead to healthier backs.

Can Abdominoplasty Help Cure Back Pain?

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain has many causes, including nerve damage, bulging discs, sciatica, and arthritis, but one cause is far more common than all of the above combined: muscle strain. Simply put, we use our back muscles too much, too often, and never give them a chance to rest.

Take a second right now and check in with your body as you sit. Nothing about sitting in a chair with a mouse, or holding up a phone so you can read from it, is a natural pose. Your body is working to hold that pose. Is your back working, or are your abs?

If you’re among 95% of people, the answer is your back. Our society’s abs are just not strong enough to maintain the 10-12 hours of sitting upright that the average person undergoes every day. The strain keeps defaulting to our backs, and our backs become chronically sore and inflamed.

This gets even worse over time. Eventually your back muscles just give out, causing slipped discs and some serious back pain.

How does abdominoplasty help?

Abdominoplasty and the Abs

Popular culture often sees tummy tucks as just facelifts for your body that tighten the skin and upper fat, but they are actually much more complex and useful. Tummy tuck surgery involves tightening the lines of the abdominal muscles to create a stronger front muscle wall. This wall helps create a tighter appearance, but also strengthens the muscles and forces them into greater engagement.

Having tighter abs both encourages your body to place more weight on them, and helps them handle that weight. As soon as a month after abdominoplasty, patients experience a permanent improvement in their posture. They sit straighter, taking the strain off their backs. Their backs get a chance to rest, even if only for a few hours of the day, and this prevents inflammation.

Other Health Benefits?

Abdominoplasty’s benefits are most obvious when it comes to back pain, but improved posture will also prevent pain in your arms and neck. The tighter abs also mimic naturally strong abs in that they inhibit overeating- if your body has less space in the abdominal cavity, it’s less willing to allow binge-eating. This can prevent a wide variety of health problems later in life.

Although abdominoplasty is a major surgery and should not be undergone lightly, the evidence shows that it has important health effects that improve patients’ quality of life.





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Dr. Omar Fouda Neel, FRCSC, FACS
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