Diastasis Recti is a condition where there is a partial or complete separation due to overstretching of the Rectus abdominis muscles.
Rectus abdominis muscle or the six-pack muscle is a long muscle of the abdominal wall running from the lower rib cage to the pelvic bone, it runs vertically on both sides of the Linea alba.
The function of the muscle is to help in trunk flexion, expiration, and compression of abdominal viscera.
It is commonly seen in
- Pregnancy and post-delivery.
- Multiparous or multiple pregnancy.
- Obesity in male and female.
- New born mostly premature due to muscle being not fully developed or connected.
How to identify if you have one.
When you notice a bulge in your stomach while straining or contracting your abdominal muscles.
Lying on your back with knees and hip bend / crook lying, keep your fingers just above your belly button area, lift your head and shoulders up, finger width or more separation between the two muscles does indicate Diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti can lead to
- low back pain.
- Alters your posture and stability of your trunk.
- Pelvic pain.
- Pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Hernia in extreme cases.
Activities to avoid:
- Strenuous exercises involving strong abdominal muscle contraction or loading like crunches, ab twists, planks, certain yoga stretches like arching backwards
- Lifting or carrying heavy loads.
- Carrying child on one hip.
- Coughing without abdominal bracing or support.
- Episodes of severe constipation.
A pelvic floor therapist can help you in educating and providing you with service that would help to overcome this situation.
Starting prenatal exercises will help to maintain and control the tone of the abdominal muscles reducing the pressure over the Linea alba.
Postnatally or clients with Diastasis recti have to target the deep abdominal muscles. This includes the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles. Superficial abdominal muscles are not part of this. To get an effective result in helping to tone up the muscle and to reduce the gapping between the muscles to get a better quality of life it is important to get a Physiotherapy Assessment and treatment.
After deep muscle recruitment, the superficial muscle recruitment can be initiated.
lifting technique, and
are other entities that the therapist can educate on and train you in. This will help to overcome the situation and help in the recovery process
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For More information on the topic refer Cleveland Clinic