Diastasis Recti Abdominis is a widening of the linea alba, soft tissue of the midline, causing separation of the rectus abdominis muscle. This separation occurs in the 3rd trimester of all pregnancies (Gilleard and Brown 1996).
Some women have continued separation of the abdominal muscles postpartum, causing changes in the appearance and function of the trunk. The muscle separation causes weakness and imbalance of the trunk muscles which can lead to low back pain and pelvic pain.
How do I know if I have Diastasis Recti?
A simple examination from your chartered Physiotherapist can determine the presence and extent of muscle separation. The Physiotherapist will insert 3-4 fingers in the space between abdominal muscles and request you to flex your neck. The distance between the muscles will be measured above and below the naval.
How do I fix it?
In the majority of cases the function and appearance of the muscle can be restored to normal with the appropriate rehabilitation program. Exercises that focus on activating and strengthening the transversus abdominis and oblique muscles will be prescribed by your
Physiotherapist focusing on engaging the lower abdominal muscles – drawing your belly button towards your spine. You may also be suitable for physiotherapy lead pilates classes. Exercises that focus on activation of the rectus abdominis including sit-ups and crunches should be avoided at all costs.
If you require assessment of your abdominal musculature or further information regarding diastasis recti or other pregnancy related problems please contact us today.