Does the picture above look familiar to you? If so, then you may have diastasis recti. But why does this happen? The abdominal connective tissues begin separating and perineal muscles are weakened due to the pregnancy and childbirth process, which can leave after-effects; diastasis recti being one of them.
The increase in weight, contractions and pushing during the childbirth involving all the muscles related to the pelvis, hip and abdomen are the major factors that can be harmful during pregnancy on a musculoskeletal level. Back pain, sciatic recurrences, urinary incontinence or tearing of the perineum during childbirth are some of the discomforts that you may notice. Abdominal diastasis is another pathology that can be detected during the postpartum period.
What is diastasis recti?
It can be defined as "the separation of the prosthesis of the abdomen." Under normal conditions, these are united by connective tissue in what is known as the linea alba, and although this condition can be present as much in men as in women, it is more common during childbirth.
Many factors intervene in its appearance and in many cases several of them occur, and from our experience, we have found that the causes are, in general, cesarean section, excessive weight gain, great abdominal efforts during pregnancy or a recent childbirth, lack of muscle tone in the abdomen and exercises not recommended during pregnancy as well as other risk factors.
How to detect it?
To know if you have diastasis recti, lie on the floor with your face up, put your back straight on the floor and place two fingers in the center of your abdomen, on the linea alba, slightly above your abdomen. In this position, raise your head nearing the chin to the chest. If you have diastasis, you will notice that your fingers sink. The more they sink, the greater the separation.
It’s helpful for a professional like a physical therapist or physiotherapist to assess and perform this check before and after giving birth before it can close on its own, and if it doesn’t, the sooner it is detected, the easier it will be to solve it.
Prepare yourself before pregnancy
You should begin the gestation period with a well-strengthened abdominal musculature and know what can be done to improve your shape during these nine months is the best way to avoid abdominal diastasis. It is not very common for a woman to prepare before delivery; however, you can practice these techniques with us.
Core strengthening- we can instruct and establish an exercise routine for areas such as core, pelvic girdle, and hip stabilization and strengthening.
Habit and postural training- habits are big here at Rehab and Revive Physical Therapy and can help you endure the long 9 months and of course, save your back.
Manual Therapy: Soft tissue and alignment work, we typically try to work on this in the first and second trimester and are reserved for doing any more manual work in the third trimester.
Recovery in the postpartum
If in spite of the preparation that you could have done, or in case you have not been able to strengthen the musculature of the area in time, just stay calm. If it is diagnosed early and the diastasis is not excessively large, full recovery can be achieved. Sometimes it takes a while and requires a lot of perseverance while continually getting it addressed with habit changes, exercises, and manual therapy. After you have gone to your medical consultation after birth and your doctor says you can exercise, come to our specialized Physical Therapy center to check the condition of your pelvic floor and abdominal area.
We have detected and successfully treated many diastases when women have come into our care to recover their figure with our techniques. Our techniques help strengthen and lengthen the muscles of the abdomen while reducing intra-abdominal pressure and restore tone to the musculature.
If your diastasis is too large and cannot be completely closed, you may have to resort to a tummy tuck or more invasive surgical methods. To avoid this get the preventative work necessary and come to Rehab and Revive and join the thousands of women that have recovered their figure and returned to optimal functionality and happiness with our team of specialists!