During pregnancy the connective tissue that connects the right and left abdominal muscles, called the linea alba, is stretched as the baby and your abdomen grows. Sometimes the tissues do not return to their original position and when this happens a space is left between the right and left abdominal muscles. When this space is greater than 2.7cm this is known as a diastasis rectus. Loss of this space also results in the loss of positive pressure throughout the abdomen and pelvic cavities, which can also eventually affect the support of your pelvic organs. A diastasis recti can be treated with education and exercise by your women’s health physical therapist.
Diastasis Recti can be a very frustrating condition. Years after your baby has been born, you may still be asked when your baby is due because the abdominal muscle tissue has not returned to its original position. You may also experience other uncomfortable side effects, such as urinating when you sneeze. This is not commonly discussed amongst new mothers, but is a very pervasive problem! It’s not only a problem for mothers. Men can also suffer from Diastasis Recti after surgery or an injury.
Recovering from Diastasis Recti
A common yet flawed home remedy is increasing ab work in order to fix Diastasis Recti. Doing this can have detrimental effects such as pushing the organs down towards the pelvic floor or out through the gap. Diastasis Recti is not a matter of strengthening weak muscles, but closing the gap between the muscles.
At ITR Physical therapy we use education on exercises and breathing techniques, as well as providing support to continue on this program. Engaging the transverse abdominal muscle exercises can help in your recovery along with postural alignment. Manual Therapy is an additional service we offer in recovering from Diastasis Recti. Through combining education with physical therapy, it is only a matter of time before the abdominal gap has closed. Book your session today!