If you have questions about using an abdominal rehab splint, please search this page first. If you cannot find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us.
Click on a category below to view FAQs. Or put keywords in the search box to search all FAQs.
How To Use
Splinting can be an essential part of healing and restoring your core muscles. However, most people don’t realize that abdominal splinting alone will not rehabilitate your core. In some cases, the incorrect and/or long-term use of a splint can make matters worse. The splint is designed to be a temporary transverse muscle during the process of rehabilitation so that you can wean from the splint and ultimately have a strong, rehabilitated core. The Tummy Team offers several online programs that take you through a step-by-step process of restoring your core so you can live a core-strong lifestyle. This is always the ultimate goal of splinting.
Always consult with your surgeon regarding their timing for splinting. Generally, as long as there is no drain or infection, clients are safe to splint immediately after the procedure. We recommend always wearing a layer under the splint against the skin. While fastening the splint, be sure to exhale and engage to be sure the splint is snug like a hug around your tummy. Gentle steady pressure often feels supportive. If you have any hypersensitivity to the area, start to address that by placing gentle counter pressure along the incision for a few minutes several times a day to help the nerves calm down. Always listen to your body. If splinting ever makes you feel worse, take a break.
- Wear the splint all day during the initial weeks of core rehab training.
- Wear the splint over a camisole, undershirt, or bellyband to limit skin irritation and decrease the need for laundering.
- Splinting is only a portion of core rehabilitation. How you wear your splint and hold yourself while splinting is key to extending the life of your splint, and, ultimately, your recovery. Focus consistently on slightly drawing your navel in away from the splint, NOT on resting into the splint.
- Remember that the splint is meant to be temporary and helps place the muscles in proper alignment for rehabilitation. The transverse work you perform through exercise, posture and alignment, and functional activities is truly how the muscles heal and rebuild.
Splinting without the guidance of a Core Rehabilitation Specialist (or one of our online programs) is not recommended.
In most clients, we recommend abdominal splinting for most of your waking hours, every day for at least the first few weeks. It takes time to build up the tolerance for a splint while learning to engage and elongate your core, so give yourself time to get used to the splint during the first week. Remember that splinting is only a portion of core rehabilitation. How you hold yourself while splinting is key to your recovery. Focus consistently on slightly drawing your navel in away from the splint; don’t rest into the splint.
The Tummy Team recommends clients splint consistently during their waking hours for the first 2-4 weeks of your rehab program, depending on the severity of your weakness. During our program, we will guide you in the process of weaning from your splint while encouraging you to use your transverse muscle more and more. Remember that the splint is meant to be temporary and helps place the muscles in proper alignment for rehabilitation. The transverse work you perform through exercise, posture and alignment, and functional activities is truly how the muscles heal and rebuild.
Some clients who have a very severe diastasis may want to continue wearing it at night during their rehab process. If you have any kind of pain at night that is keeping you awake or pain first thing in the morning, then splinting at night can be very beneficial. However, sleep is a very important part of healing so if the splint doesn’t help you sleep, then don’t wear it. Remember, splinting is only part of the rehab process.
If you are enrolled in an online rehab program, we will demonstrate this to you in the first set of videos. Otherwise, here are some instructions.
- Place the splint between your ribs and pelvis. (Overlap onto the ribs or pelvis is okay; just make sure the splint covers the main part of your abdomen).
- Stand with your feet hips’-width apart.
- Untuck your pelvis and keep your ribs aligned over the pelvis.
- Exhale and draw your navel to your spine.
- Pull the two sides of the splint across your middle and fasten the closure. It should be snug like a hug, but NOT tight like a tourniquet. You want supportive, but not restrictive.
Yes. However, over-washing will compromise the velcro and lead to the splint being ineffective. Keep laundering to a minimum by wearing the splint over a camisole, undershirt, or bellyband.
To launder, connect the splint by its velcro closure, hand wash, and then machine dry on low.
Yes. However, it is important to wear the splint exactly as directed: wear it a bit lower, and scoop up and under the lower belly when applying the splint. (This is demonstrated in the “Fitting Yourself for an Abdominal Splint” video here). Splinting should always make your symptoms better not worse. If you are feeling increased pelvic pressure when splinting, stop and review the instructions, or contact us for an eSession. Splinting is always recommended in coordination with one of our rehab programs.