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Common Conditions

Diastasis Recti


Diastasis Recti is the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis “six-pack” muscles which meet at the midline of the stomach. Diastasis Recti is very common that up to 60% of women may experience it during pregnancy or postpartum.⁣

The most common symptom of diastasis recti is a pooch or bulge in the stomach, especially when straining or contracting the abdominal muscles. Additional symptoms include lower back pain, poor posture, constipation and bloating.⁣

What causes Diastasis Recti?

During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles and connective tissues are stretched out from the expanding uterus with the help of the pregnancy hormones (relaxin and estrogen). This is to accommodate the growing baby and prepare the body for delivery. Pushing during delivery can also lead to Diastasis Recti.⁣

Physical therapy is a very effective way to manage the symptoms of DR Gap. It can improve your strength and stamina so you can return to normal activities. Your physical therapist may help you identify which movements or activities to modify or avoid as you recover. They will help you safely progress your activities as you heal. Your physical therapist will teach you safe and effective ways to regain your full function, so you can return to the activities that you enjoy. They will also teach posture training which will focus on the transverse abdominis muscles, diaphragm, low back muscles and pelvic floor muscles. Your physical therapist will show you ways to do daily activities, such as lifting and carrying a baby or other objects. These methods will help to strengthen and reduce pressure on your stomach muscle. A physical therapist can teach you the right type and intensity of exercises for your condition and goals. They can help you progress through them as you get stronger. Your physical therapist can address muscle imbalances. You will be prescribed stretches and diaphragm releases to help restore normal breathing patterns. If in doubt, seek professional advice.