Diastasis recti is a separation of the rectus abdominis muscle that creates your “six-pack.” The separation occurs along the linea alba, the band of connective tissue that runs down your abdominal midline. The condition is most commonly seen in the post-partum phase of pregnancy, although it may also be caused by abdominal obesity in both males and females. Pregnancy-related separation results from the uterus pushing against the abdominal wall, coupled with an influx of pregnancy hormones that soften connective tissue. While often painless, many women consider the condition to be cosmetically disfiguring.
Risk Factors for Diastasis Recti include:
- multiple birth pregnancy
- multiple pregnancies close together
- large birthweight baby
- pregnancy over age 35
- abdominal surgery
- abdominal obesity
Because the muscles of the abdominal canister protect the spine and stabilize the pelvis during physical activity, diastasis recti can inhibit and impede physical performance. When left untreated, diastasis recti can lead to low back and pelvic pain, constipation, movement dysfunction, and hernia.
Diastasis Recti Diagnosis
Diagnosis of diastasis recti entails a manual physical exam and diagnostic ultrasonography to assess the severity of the condition.
Diastasis Recti Treatment
While surgery may be a viable treatment option in severe cases, it will not restore function of the rectus abdominis. Conservative therapy that is non-invasive can promote healing of the linea alba and optimize function of the abdominal muscles. Conventional abdominal strengthening exercises like crunches and leg lifts should be avoided, as they can aggravate the condition.
The post-partum specialists at NYDNRehab use conservative targeted methods and specific interventions that are clinically proven to effectively treat diastasis recti. We begin with Vojta reflex therapy to activate the deep abdominal muscles. We then follow up with more direct training of the abdominal wall, using a combination of DNS (dynamic neuromuscular stabilization) and ISM (integrated system model) approaches.
You do not have to live with an unsightly abdominal separation that keeps you from being active. The team at NYDNRehab combines professional expertise with cutting edge therapies to restore your abdominal muscles to full integrity and function. Schedule a consultation today, and see why the sports medicine professionals at NYDNRehab are considered the very best in NYC.