What Is Diastasis Recti And How PT Can Help?
Diastasis recti (DR) is the partial or complete separation of your abdominal muscles.
During pregnancy, the abdominals separate in order to accommodate your growing baby. It is very common following pregnancy (up to 60%!) for the abdominals to stay separated.
However, DR is not limited to postpartum people. It can occur in newborn babies and also men, often as a result of lifting heavy weights incorrectly or performing excessive or unsafe abdominal exercises.
DR can cause low back and pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, hernias, as well as bloating, and constipation.
Are you now wondering: Do I have DR and if so what do I do (or not do)?
Next, it is necessary to avoid exercise that increases excessive tension in the abdominals so it does not get worse (including but not limited to traditional crunches, situps, and planks). Strengthening the deep core muscles is key to healing your DR, which can be initiated with Diaphragm Breathing (see this video for explanation).
An assessment from a Physical Therapist of the severity of your DR provides a specific exercise plan to correct it, and to get you back to doing the things you love without worrying about injury/pain.