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Thread: Lose the stomach

  1. #1

    Lose the stomach

    Ok so I feel like there are a lot of different opinions on this topic. Is it possible to lose the stomach as someone with SCI? I'm not talking about getting a six pack whatsoever. I'm just curious if you can lose some of it. I'm C7 incomplete. I'm not overweight but I've developed a little bit of a stomach. I'm familiar with what quad belly is. Has anyone had any success? Even if it was only a little? I wear a binder typically everyday with hopes that it will prevent quad belly or anymore of it.

  2. #2
    So I'm completely shooting from the hip here, and I'm not sure whether or not my belief is accurate. But I'm pretty sure the quad belly isn't fat. It's the lack of tone of the abdominal muscles that lets your guts spill out further than they normally would (in my own case, partial loss of abdominal muscles coupled with a decrease in abdominal length due to compression fractures and scoliosis). Obviously this is the reason why a binder improves the situation (though that would improve a beer belly as well). If you are not overweight I don't see a dietary/exercise way to improve this situation which has more to do with lack of innervation than lack of exercise or overindulgence in food.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    So I'm completely shooting from the hip here, and I'm not sure whether or not my belief is accurate. But I'm pretty sure the quad belly isn't fat. It's the lack of tone of the abdominal muscles that lets your guts spill out further than they normally would (in my own case, partial loss of abdominal muscles coupled with a decrease in abdominal length due to compression fractures and scoliosis). Obviously this is the reason why a binder improves the situation (though that would improve a beer belly as well). If you are not overweight I don't see a dietary/exercise way to improve this situation which has more to do with lack of innervation than lack of exercise or overindulgence in food.
    Right. That's what I've come to understand as well but there are some that have either disagreed or claim that something worked for them.

  4. #4
    I feel like my stomach pushes on me a lot and it's a little uncomfortable. The binder helps somewhat but it still feels like my stomach is bulging most of the time.

  5. #5
    I've seen people with complete C7 injuries who don't have a belly. Don't know what they did or didn't do. Just know it's possible.

  6. #6
    Most often this is not due to being overweight or excessive abdominal fat, but as described above, due to paralysis of the abdominal muscles (T6-T12), leading to gravity pushing on internal organs and overstretching the abdominal wall. This is usually described as "quad belly".

    An abdominal binder or corset worn whenever out of bed can help to prevent this, but will not correct it once the overstretching has occurred. A few people here report some success with electrical stim of their abdominals in developing tone and combating this as well, but a lot would depend on how many of your muscles were involved, and whether or not they have UMN or LMN injury (electric stim is much more difficult to do successfully on LMN muscles).

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  7. #7
    I'll let ya know if I get rid of mine. I'm in pretty good shape besides a belly. I'm in the gym 5-6 days a week and am really starting to eat right. One thing I've noticed is the last time my abs REALLY felt "worked out" was when I has sex.....way to long ago unfortunately. Think I will start to try and use my core as much as possible. Crawl, sit up on knee's shit they teach ya in therapy.....just like everything, hard work is probably the only way. Look up wheelchair body builders, they're ripped. It's possible

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    I've seen people with complete C7 injuries who don't have a belly. Don't know what they did or didn't do. Just know it's possible.
    Most likely because they were 1) motor incomplete, or 2) wore a corset/binder most of the time, or 3) had significant abdominal muscle spasticity. The latter is not something that is desirable for most, as it can make it hard to breathe and throw your balance off in your chair.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Most likely because they were 1) motor incomplete, or 2) wore a corset/binder most of the time, or 3) had significant abdominal muscle spasticity. The latter is not something that is desirable for most, as it can make it hard to breathe and throw your balance off in your chair.

    (KLD)
    I thought his injury was incomplete at first. But then I noticed that he couldn't use his fingers much. Is it possible to have lost function at C7 (fingers) and still have function below C7 (abbs)? I know he didn't wear a binder. I didn't notice spasms. After all, if your spasms are that strong, it's going to be noticeable in other ways (like what you mention - balance issues).

  10. #10
    Yes, by definition, someone with an ASIA D C7 SCI such as with Central Cord Syndrome could have significant voluntary motor function in their trunk and legs. They have more impairment in their arms than legs. You can also find this in non-CCS AIS C or D injuries sometimes.

    Spasticity is not necessarily the same thing as spasms. Spasticity is the unusually high tone found in muscles with UMN lesions. Spasms are involuntary muscle movements in these muscles, and usually much more noticable by another person than is spasticity.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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