“Why isn’t there more information about diastasis recti?”
This is a question that I get a lot! How can this medical condition be so prominent in women, men and children, yet most people have never heard of it? How can 98% of women who have had babies have some form of diastasis without it being diagnosed?
I am a Physical Therapist. I was a high-level athlete into my twenties and I have great body awareness. I had no idea that this was what was causing my post-baby belly and contributing to my back pain, stress incontinence, and pelvic instability. People who know much less about the body are even less likely to figure it out. Why?
I believe the number one reason we don’t know much about this condition is that, until recently, there has not been a great solution to the problem. Sadly, if medical professionals do not have a cure, they tend to not look for the condition. Yes, diastasis recti can be treated by traditional Physical Therapy. There are also plastic surgeons who will sew the tummy back together or put mesh in the separation and do a tummy tuck. But neither of these solutions have been ideal.
Diastasis recti has not been effectively healed with traditional Physical Therapy. I do not say this to be challenging; I say it because it is true. While there may be a few PT’s out there that have effectively helped their clients heal, it is rare. We learn little about this condition in school and little about rehabilitation to the abdominal wall. PT’s are awesome at treating low back pain, sciatica, pelvic instability, and pelvic floor dysfunction. But most PT’s treating these symptoms do not even check their clients for a diastasis. When they do find a diastasis, they tend to do core stabilization treatments which are often done in back-lying or all 4’s positions – both of which make it very difficult for the transverse to activate effectively to help close a the separated abdominal wall. The healing and rehabilitation process is slow and monotonous and that is difficult to do in a traditional PT session setting.
Plastic surgery is not the answer either. First of all, it is not covered by your insurance most of the time, even when you are having serious pain and medical complications. Second of all, if you simply stitch muscle tissue together or insert mesh to hold the wall together and do nothing to change what caused the problem in the first place then it will slowly separate again. I have had 5 women in the past year in my workshops who had mesh inserted or plastic surgery to repair their tummy and then came to me months or years later. All of them had a separated their abdominal wall again. Surgery is good for extra skin but it is not the answer to fix the core muscle problem.
But this is not the only reason Diastasis Recti is not diagnosed. It is also not understood how much a separated abdominal wall can contribute to the very common complaints of back pain and pelvic instability. While it is not the only thing going on, it is a big piece of the puzzle that has been overlooked.
The good news is there is a non-surgical, non-invasive, inexpensive and proven effective solution! The Tummy Team has developed specialized core rehab programs that have proven to restore the core muscles and provide the education and training to not re-injure the area. We aim to help clients get a stronger core for life!
Do not be discouraged if your doctor, midwife or chiropractor does not diagnose your diastasis or does not know there is a cure. We are working hard to change that. But take charge of your own health. If you think this might be something you are struggling with getting more information at our website. You do not have to continue to struggle, there is a solution.