Diastasis Recti Prevention & Rehabilitation
What is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Recti (DR) is the result of excessive intra-abdominal pressure which weakens the connective tissue of the linea alba, and in turn, causes a separation of the rectus abdominis, the outer-most abdominal muscles.
There are many factors that can cause this build up of pressure within the abdomen including rapid changes in body weight, intense abdominal workouts, lifting heavy objects, and pregnancy. Severe cases of diastasis recti can lead to lower back pain, umbilical hernia, pubic symphysis pain, sacroiliac joint pain, pelvic floor dysfunctions, and can change the appearance of the abdomen.
Both men and women can develop a DR separation, however it is most commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
Variations of Diastasis Recti
Open Below Naval
Open Above Naval
During pregnancy, it is normal to experience some degree of diastasis recti separation due to rapid expansion of the uterus in a relatively short period of time. With that said, it is possible for the tissues to return to their original position post-childbirth. However if excessive force is placed on the linea alba during pregnancy, it can make it more difficult for your body's natural healing abilities to kick in.
The good news is that it is never too late to rehabilitate and strengthen your core. So whether you gave birth 3 months ago or 10 years ago, you still have the ability to feel strong and connected within your core. This doesn't necessarily mean working towards having "six-pack" abs, but rather achieving optimal core function through mind-body awareness and application of correct pelvic floor and core activation techniques.
When we hear the words "core muscles" we generally tend to think about the more superficial muscles such as the rectus abdominis and obliques. However, there are several deeper muscles that play a vital role in the strength and rehabilitation of the core, especially when a diastasis separation is present. These deep abdominal muscles are what form your "Inner-Core Unit" and are explained in further detail below.
Diaphragm: Serves as the main muscle of respiration and plays a vital role in the breathing process.
Transverse Abdominis (TVA): The inner-most layer of all abdominal muscles. It serves to protect and stabilize the spine and pelvis. During childbirth, correct activation of the TVA muscle helps to deliver the baby.
Pelvic Floor: Layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs (bladder, bowel, and uterus), and span the bottom of the pelvis.
Multifidus: A series of muscles that attach to the spinal column. It functions together with the TVA and pelvic floor muscles to stabilize the lower back and pelvis before movement of the arms and/or legs occurs.
MIND BODY BABY
4-Step Diastasis Recti
Prevention & Rehabilitation Program
Identification of the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles
Simultaneous activation of the TVA and pelvic floor muscles
Integration of TVA + PF activation techniques with functional movement
Application of TVA + PF activation techniques with everyday tasks and activities