WHAT is Diastasis Recti?
A diastasis recti is a separation of your outermost abdominal muscles. The job of these muscles (called rectus abdominis), is to support your back and your organs.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Continuous stretching of, and intra-abdominal force and pressure on, this connective tissue that joins your outermost abdominal muscles.
Common causes of intra-abdominal force and pressure on connective tissue:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Exercising incorrectly… crunches and planks can cause it and/or make it worse!!!
- Movements where you arch your back will flare your ribs
- Cross over movements (like swinging a tennis racquet or a golf club)
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE IF YOU HAVE IT?
Separated muscles are weak muscles. Separated muscles cannot do their job of supporting your back and organs. To achieve a strong core, your muscles must be close together.
When the muscles separate, the connective tissue (linea alba) joining these muscles stretches sideways. This sideways stretching of the connective tissue causes it to become thinner and weaker. Now, this weak, thin connective tissue is ineffectively supporting your back and organs, instead of the muscles that should be if they were close together.
SIDE EFFECTS OF DIASTASIS RECTI:
- poor posturepelvic floor problems
- gastrointestinal disturbances like constipation and bloating
- an “outie” belly button
- A bulging belly (that little belly that you can’t get rid of after having children no matter how much weight that you lose, or that little belly that you have that makes people think that you’ve had children when you have not)
HOW DO YOU FIX IT?
A diastasis can be closed on anyone at any time.
Closing a diastasis is about healing the connective tissue. Taking care of the connective tissue and healing it is accomplished by:
- Bringing the recti muscles closer together so that the connective tissue is in the optimal position to heal. This is accomplished by splinting.
- Strengthening the core muscles with special focus on the Transverse Abdominis, the innermost abdominal muscle.
- Mindfulness of your body mechanics in your daily activitie
- Actively engaging your core in with activities of daily living and exercise
Core ConsciousnessTM offers methods to treat and prevent diastasis recti! For more information click here.
Some people choose to have surgery to repair a diastasis
- This should be your very last resort! The surgery to repair this requires a hip bone to hip bone incision. The recovery from this surgery is very difficult. If you do decide on surgery, your abdominals must be strengthened beforehand to maintain the integrity of the sutures which easily lose their integrity.
- The core rehabilitation recommended for diastasis recti is extremely beneficial even if you decide on surgery. It will give you the tools and strength to prevent the sutures from opening and the issue happening again. Surgery does not repair weakness!!
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE DIASTASIS RECTI?