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Adhesions are bundles of tight scar-like tissue that form between two organs or surfaces inside your body. The most common causes of abdominal adhesions include: appendicitis, endometriosis, diverticulitis, cancer and invasive surgery. Mild or temporary adhesions can develop after engaging in repetitive exercises such as running, sit-ups, abdominal crunches or other forms of strength training. Mild exercise-induced adhesions may go away over time. More severe adhesions may require therapy or surgery.
Abdominal adhesions formed between the stomach, intestines or other abdominal organs can cause pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting and constipation. As the severity or size of the adhesion increases, the symptoms will become more noticeable. An adhesion caused by surgery, appendicitis or other medical conditions may exist without symptoms. But you can start to feel it while doing exercises such as sit-ups or abdominal crunches. Engaging in abdominal crunches can aggravate and increase the tightness of a preexisting abdominal adhesion to make it noticeable.
Mild exercise-induced adhesions such as those brought on by abdominal crunches typically don't require medical treatment and will often go away by resting the affected abdominal area. You can relieve some of the tightness and discomfort with heat therapies such as hot water baths, steam baths or saunas. Stretching and massage therapy may also be used as a treatment in some cases. More serious abdominal adhesions that developed from appendicitis, endometriosis, surgery or trauma may require medical treatment over time if the adhesions start to cause intestinal blockage or fertility problems. Doctors will only consider surgical intervention as a last resort since additional surgery increases the risk of more adhesions.
Your organs and tissues need nutrients to keep them healthy. A good nutritional balance will keep your body moving in a fluid way and reduce the risk of developing adhesions. A depletion of key nutrients will lead to damage that can cause your muscles to become tired. As muscles become tired and other internal tissues become weak from poor nutrition, excessive exercise can cause new adhesions or aggravate existing ones.
More than 90 percent of abdominal adhesions are initially caused by surgery. These can later be aggravated by some forms of exercise such as abdominal crunches. Take steps to reduce your risk of surgery and disease to help prevent adhesions. Moderate exercise and eating a nutritionally balanced diet will reduce your risk for health problems that require surgery. Exercise is an effective method of keeping your body mobile and fluid when done properly. New adhesions from sit-ups and abdominal crunches can be prevented when these exercises are done correctly and in moderation.