What is diastasis recti? - Western Women's and Mens Health
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What is diastasis recti?


What is diastasis recti?

It might sound like a muscle in itself, however, diastasis recti is actually a condition where the outer abdominal muscles (rectus abdominus) separate, forming a gap. It may occur anywhere along the midline of these muscles. The condition is most commonly associated with pregnant women, but can also affect men, those suffering from obesity or severe swelling in the abdomen, children, premature babies and those who lift heavy weights. One of the most common causes is weak abdominal muscles.

Signs of diastasis recti

The most commonly noted sign is doming of the abdomen, which can be seen most easily when moving from lying down to sitting. You can further test this sign by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor (yes, you are going to do a movement similar to a little sit up). Press your fingers of one hand into your stomach, just above your belly button, as you gently lift you head and neck off the floor with the support of your other hand. If you feel a gap greater than the width of two fingers it is recommended that you have it checked by a physiotherapist.

The problem with diastasis recti

Diastasis recti has been associated with lower-back pain, pelvic pain, umbilical hernia, urinary incontinence and constipation. Making it important to have yourself checked out, if you suspect that you have an issue. It is also important to have strong abdominal muscles to help with supporting your body through its various daily activities.

In most cases, a prescribed appropriate exercise program will help to improve the condition.

Our experienced team of physiotherapists at Western Women’s and Men’s Health are always here to assist you with overcoming your concerns and working with you to improve your condition. Our physios will provide you with a thorough assessment in order to create the most appropriate exercise program to suit your needs. Call our friendly Hoppers Crossing clinic today on (03) 8001 2044 for an appointment.

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