If your tummy still looks pregnant months after delivery, diastasis recti might be the culprit. Read on to find out more about this common postpartum condition.
Diastasis Recti is a separation of the abdominal muscles along the line of connective tissue that runs down the centre of the abdomen. This line of connective tissue is known as linea alba. . During pregnancy, your uterus expands causing the abdominals to overstretch and pull apart resulting in muscle weakness and thinning of the linea alba. This band of tissue gets wider as it is pushed outwards.
Diagnosis and treatment options for diastasis recti tend to vary depending on the degree of widening. Although diastasis recti occurs primarily in pregnant and postpartum women, it can also occur in men.
Contrary to popular belief, it is never too late to repair your diastasis recti. With the proper treatment methods like diastasis recti exercises or physiotherapy for diastasis recti, you can strengthen and tighten your abdominal muscles again.
If left untreated, diastasis recti can lead to:
Most often, diastasis recti or abdominal separation can be seen with a protruding dome down the length of the tummy, particularly around the belly button. You may notice this in everyday movement, such as when getting up or lying down in bed.
A simple self-test at home can help you determine if you have diastasis recti. Simply follow the steps below:
It is possible to heal your diastasis recti and flatten their abdominal walls with proper rehabilitation exercises. However, it is recommended to work with a healthcare professional before starting on exercises for diastasis recti. A physiotherapist from WACC will be able to assess the severity of your condition and may recommend physiotherapy for diastasis recti. Physiotherapy is a very effective way to manage diastasis recti. Engaging the help of a physiotherapist from WACC can help improve your condition through:
All our physiotherapists are trained in the management of diastasis recti, and thus can help assess as well as provide a treatment plan specific to your needs and condition.
There are many conservative treatment options for diastasis recti such as exercises and physiotherapy. In some rare cases, surgery is recommended if there is no improvement after conservative treatment and your condition is affecting your daily function Surgery is also performed in severe cases of hernia, or if the patient opt for it.
The amount of time it takes for your diastasis recti to heal is dependent on the severity of your abs separation and the consistency in which you do your prescribed diastasis recti exercises. Most of the time, diastasis recti improves after several weeks into postpartum as your muscles start regaining strength.
We recommend speaking with one of our physical therapists at WACC to find out the lifestyle modifications and diastasis recti exercises that you can do to improve your condition.
While diastasis recti can heal on its own, your risk for diastasis recti recurrence increases in your subsequent pregnancies. This happens as your linea alba is continuously stretched, resulting in it losing its elasticity. Hence, the linea alba may not regain its original shape or form after having been stretched multiple times.
However, exercises, physiotherapy for diastasis recti, as well as maintaining a good posture can help reduce the severity of your condition.
Diastasis recti can give off the impression that you are pregnant, even after your baby is born.. As such, it is advisable to discuss your concerns and symptoms with your healthcare provider so that they can diagnose and provide you treatment options. Getting treatment for your diastasis recti can help relieve the pain you are experiencing and make you feel more confident with your body.Book an Appointment