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Common Conditions

Diastasis Recti Gap


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. Apart from manual therapy, your physical therapist may help you address muscle imbalances, identify which movements or activities to modify or avoid as you recover. These methods will help to strengthen and reduce pressure on your stomach muscle. As treatment progresses, your physical therapist will teach you safe lifestyle recommendations 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. You will then be prescribed exercises, stretches and diaphragm releases to help restore normal breathing patterns. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

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