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Diastasis Recti

What is Diastasis Recti?

If you still look pregnant months after giving birth, you may have diastasis recti. That’s what they call it when the rectus abdominis muscles in your abdomen separate during pregnancy, leaving a gap that allows your belly to pooch out.

Who can have diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is common in women who are over 35, deliver a high birth weight baby or have a multiple pregnancy. It also occurs in middle aged and older men with abdominal obesity.

How do I know if I have diastasis recti?

Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place your hand palm down over your belly, with your fingers pointing toward your toes. Press your fingers gently into your navel area then slowly lift your head, drawing your chin to your chest. This causes your rectus abdominis to contract. If you feel a gap of at least two finger widths between the muscles as they contract, you have a diastasis. A gap as wide as four or five fingers is considered severe.

Can physiotherapy help people with diastasis recti?

Yes. Physiotherapy can help patients suffering from diastasis recti by creating an exercise program that focuses on improving pelvic alignment, toning and flattening the abdominal wall. Effective physiotherapy works to shorten muscle fibres and develop dynamic stability which can improve the function between the external and internal layers of the abdominal wall.

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