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Remember abdominal cramping? I do.

The chronic pain I’ve experienced in recent years has subsided considerably over the past few months. I chalk it up to the habits I’ve learned through physical therapy (deep breathing, stretches) and especially the weight loss.

But the pain has returned in recent days; it’s clearly stress-related. My physical therapist said last fall that just as some people clench shoulder muscles while tense, others tighten their abdominal muscles – or in my case, my pelvic floor – under duress. I was convinced of this after looking back on the past few years, and the past week or so has further convinced me.

Just knowing doesn’t make the pain go away; the deep breathing and stretches (and Extra Strength Tylenol, “rapid release” variety) do. But understanding where the pain is coming from makes a world of difference with my peace of mind. Grateful for medical professionals like my urogynecologist and physical therapist who pointed me in the right direction.