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Diastasis Recti: One Possible Complication After Pregnancy

By: Dr. Caroline Joy PT, DPT

Have you been diagnosed with diastasis recti? Or do you have a high fear of developing the condition? Read along with this blog post to educate yourself on the condition, learn about what you can do to manage it, and lastly diminish your fears associated with diastasis recti.

Diastasis recti can be defined as an increased distance between the rectus abdominis muscles at the midline caused by weakness in the anterior abdominal wall. The condition is often associated with an increase in intraabdominal pressure, including pregnancy and obesity, as well as diseases that result in weakness of the connective tissues.(1) The condition can be tested and monitored with a finger width test, with a muscle separation or gap between the rectus abdominis muscles of 2 or more finger spaces (or a distance of 25 mm) confirming diastisis recti. 

Some people reading this may be satisfied with reassurance that there are no risks of complications with untreated diastasis recti.(2) Others may desire intervention, whether it is due to personal goals or cosmetic considerations. Most scholarly resources recommend conservative management with lifestyle modifications, weight loss, and physical therapy as the first-line treatment for bothersome diastasis recti. As a PT, I would prioritize exercises for pelvic floor strengthening, deep abdominal activation. and prevention and/or treatment of urinary incontinence. If conservative treatment fails, then a conversation with your doctor about surgical options may be considered. 

If you or someone you know struggles with diastasis recti, we have a team of PTs at the Green Room with both pelvic floor background and Pilates that can help you treat it conservatively!


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