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Diastasis Recti: Don’t Let It Scare You

by Danielle Restivo, DPT, FRCms

Many hear the term Diastasis Recti (DR) and think of pregnancy. But perhaps you are a fit athlete with back pain and are experiencing DR or perhaps you are a 45-year-old male with DR (yes, it can happen). Simply, Diastasis Recti is the unnatural distancing of your abdominals from each other.

So what has led to the problem of DR in the first place?

In order to have a displacement of one or more of your abdominals there must have been a force. Abdominal separation in not about fitness – it’s about force. When discussing the amount of force, it’s not about how much you can generate but the amount that allows your body to function optimally. As a result, in order to restore your DR you must not just rely on corrective exercises but must also stop performing the very habits that caused the separation in the first place. You must take a look at your daily habits, movements, and positions to avoid the force that may have got you here in the first place.2014-12-03-waffle

What kind of forces can be placed on the linea alba (which is the fibrous structure that runs down your midline) to cause a DR?

Movements of the rib cage and pelvis can strain the linea alba due to their anatomical attachments to the sternum and pelvic floor. From standing up and arching backwards, to twisting or simply standing with a hip jutting out (us moms know this position well, where else can your one-year-old sit and still be close to mom?) The oblique muscles can also place forces on the linea alba whether you are a fit and lean athlete or a static individual who has never touched a weight with underused tight obliques. Intra-abdominal pressures like babies and intra-abdominal fat can also affect the force on the linea alba.

For those athletes who are fit and are experiencing that occasional back pain or pelvic discomfort, too many oblique exercises can create high levels of resting tension to the linea alba. Why? The obliques and the transverse attach to the rectus sheath whose action pulls the right and left rectus abdomens away from the midline.

Either way, the term Diastasis Recti sometimes can be very common. And guess what? We have the means to help you with that. Whether it’s corrective movements with mobility work, strengthening through Current MOVE or seeing a therapist – there’s a way to combat any DR symptoms and ailments.

Call us today if you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort and let us help you be at your best!

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