Do you have several questions about diastasis recti? You can end your search now. The Tummy Team has compiled the most frequently searched questions on Google about diastasis recti to provide you one space that can give you all the answers you need. Take a look at the questions below as well as our answers…
About diastasis recti
Diastasis Recti is a midline separation of the right and left sides of the abdominal wall. It can happen to men and women, regardless of age, weight or fitness level. It is common in pregnancy and postpartum due to the added elasticity of the connective tissue. With Diastasis Recti, the connective tissue that runs down the center of the abdominals (the linea alba) becomes thin and your organs push forward, contributing to a bulging tummy and increasing the risk of a hernia. Because the abdominal muscles help support the back and organs, a separation will cause your support system to be weakened leading to instability and pain.
Yes! Diastasis recti can be corrected with Functional Core Rehabilitation. This is the specialty of The Tummy Team. The treatment of diastasis recti includes a reconnecting to and retraining your internal core muscles in upright postures and optimizing your posture and alignment so your core engages and elongates consistently during all-day functional movements. In addition, rehab will improve the sensory connection of the muscles, the blood flow to the connective tissue, and minimize movements that create intra-abdominal pressure on your tummy. The Functional Core Rehab process includes some initial retraining exercises and stretches but is much more about retraining movement patterns and the functional use of your core muscles.
Diastasis recti presents differently in different clients. Sometimes you feel like you have a gaping hole in your tummy, or a bulging, tenting, or “pouchy” tummy or you could have trench down the midline of your belly that sometimes bulges up when you cough or do a sit-up motion. Other times you cannot tell by looking at the tummy but you have consistent symptoms of Functional Core Weakness like a weak, deflated abdominal wall, chronic collapsed posture, low back pain and instability, weak pelvic floor symptoms, and/or a sluggish digestive tract. The Tummy Team offers a self-check video that can walk you through checking yourself for a diastasis. (view it here).
Diastasis Recti can negatively affect much of the quality of your life and if untreated can contribute to chronic low back pain, pelvic instability, sciatica, digestive issues, birth complications, and serious pelvic floor dysfunction. In addition, the muscle imbalance and movement strategies that cause diastasis recti can put you at risk for developing an abdominal hernia that can be painful and in some cases life-threatening. Diastasis Recti (and all the related symptoms and side effects) is effectively treated with Functional Core Rehab. This is not a cosmetic issue, it is an important medical condition that needs to be treated.
Diastasis Recti is a midline separation of the right and left sides of the abdominal wall. It can happen to men and women, regardless of age, weight, or fitness level. It is caused by the most common compensation pattern for Functional Core Weakness: consistent forward and forceful pressure against the abdominal wall. This pressure can be from chronic poor postures, traditional abdominal exercises like crunches, sit-ups or planks, chronic constipation, and habitual bracing or bearing down. Diastasis Recti occurs commonly in prenatal and postpartum women due to the additional pressure of the growing uterus, extra elasticity in the connective tissue of the abdominal wall due to pregnancy hormones, and additional forward pressure from constipation and breath-holding and bearing down during delivery.
Belly bands or abdominal binding are similar to abdominal rehab splinting which is an important component to diastasis recti treatment. An abdominal rehab splint is a medical-grade, non-constricting support that reinforces the functional use of the inner core muscle known as the transverse abdominis. When used properly, it helps:
- promote neurological reconnection to the atrophied muscle
- protect and support the spine and abdominal organs
- give temporary support to the core while it is rehabilitated
- bring together and stabilize the two sides of the abdominals to help heal diastasis recti
It is important to combine abdominal rehab splinting with a comprehensive rehab approach or the use of a splint can actually lead to disconnect and slow the healing process. The Tummy Team sells rehab splints and recommends them with all of our online rehab programs.
No, diastasis recti is a stretching (sometimes severe) of the connective tissue that runs down the midline of the abdominal wall. A hernia is when that connective tissue tears. A severe and untreated diastasis can put you at risk for developing a hernia and some people have both a diastasis and a hernia. However, the rehab process is very similar and even hernias that need surgical repair benefit from Functional Core Rehab before and after surgery.
In most cases, diastasis recti can absolutely be prevented. Diastasis Recti is caused by repetitive forward forceful pressure on the abominable wall that is more prevalent when there is a muscle imbalance within the core muscles. When you identify and minimize the forward forceful pressure movements and strengthen the internal core muscles so they are not significantly weaker than the external muscles then diastasis recti can be prevented.
Diastasis recti is typically measured by the number of finger widths you can fit between the right and left side of the abdominal all on a diastasis check. Anything more than 1 finger is considered a diastasis. Diastasis that are 2-3 finger-widths are considered significant and separations of 3 fingers or more are considered severe.
Diastasis Recti is caused by chronic forward forceful pressure on the abdominal wall that causes the connective tissue to stretch and the tummy to bulge or tent. This occurs most often when men have weak internal core muscles, live in collapsed postures and hold their breath and brace or bulge their tummy when lifting, bending, moving, and straining. Addressing the muscle imbalance and retraining core strength and functional movement patterns can reduce the diastasis. The Tummy Team has an online rehab course specifically for men with diastasis recti.
Yes. Diastasis recti is a symptom of functional core weakness. When the core muscles are inactive, posture collapses and the organs of the abdomen are not supported well. The intestinal tract functions best with good blood flow and proper positioning in the abdominal cavity. Diastasis recti and functional core weakness contribute to constipation, difficult bowel movements, and at times symptoms of irritable bowel.
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If you are wondering how you can heal your diastasis, you’ve come to the right place. The Tummy Team specializes in healing diastasis recti and other symptoms of pelvic floor weakness as well as prenatal training. We highly encourage you to check out Core Foundations, Core Foundations for Men, and the other programs that we offer at https://online.thetummyteam.com/online-programs. Not sure what course may be best for you? Take our online program questionnaire and do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions!