Table of Contents

How Do You Know If You Have Diastasis Recti

What Is Diastasis Recti

How To Treat Diastasis Recti Without Surgery

How To Repair Diastasis Recti

How To Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti Gap

How To Fix Diastasis Recti

What Is Diastasis Recti Abdominis

What Causes Diastasis Recti

What Exercises To Avoid With Diastasis Recti

How To Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti

What Is Diastasis Recti Abdominis

How To Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy

How To Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti Postpartum

What Causes Diastasis Recti

Then lift up your head about an inch while keeping your shoulders on the ground. If you have diastasis recti, you will feel a gap between the muscles that is wider than an inch. In rare occasions, the tissue in the abdomen isn’t just stretched, but it is also torn a bit.

How To Test For Diastasis Recti

“If there’s a defect in a layer of tissue called the linea alba, then the bowel can poke through,” Sharma says. “That’s going to be more dangerous – how to check for diastasis recti after pregnancy.” A hernia may require surgery. “So I will refer patients to a general surgeon to have a CT scan if there’s really a true concern about a hernia,” Sharma says.

Diastasis Recti How To Tell

“These are the muscles that give you a ‘six pack,’ ” says Dr. how do you know if you have diastasis recti. Linda Brubaker, an OB-GYN at the University of California, San Diego. “People think these muscles go horizontal across the belly. But they actually go vertical from head to toe.” The rectus abdominal muscles should be right next to each other, on either side of the belly button, Brubaker says.

How To Check For Diastasis Recti

Sometimes that gap closes on its own, but other times, it stays open. That leaves a spot in the belly where there is very little muscle to hold in your stomach and other organs, a spot that can be 1 to 2 inches wide. That lets the organs and overlying tissue bulge out — and cause mommy pooch.

How To Know If You Have Diastasis Recti

And that is where the exercises come into play. If you search online for ways to fix diastasis recti, you’ll turn up a deluge of exercise routines, all claiming to help coax the abdominal muscles back together. But the quality of much of that information isn’t good, Brubaker says. “Some of it is actually potentially harmful.” Even some exercises aimed at strengthening the abdomen can exacerbate diastasis recti, says Keller, including simple crunches.

How To Diagnose Diastasis Recti

“For example, please don’t ever again in your life do crossover crunches or bicycle crunches. They splay your abs apart in so many ways.” That said, there are a few exercise programs for diastasis recti that many doctors and physical therapists support. These include the Tupler Technique, Keller’s Dia Method and the MuTu System in the U.K.

How To Tell If You Have A Diastasis Recti

Some places offer online classes and videos, which are much less expensive. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also recommends abdominal exercises for the perinatal period. But the organization’s guidelines don’t provide details — such as which exercises work best or how often women should do them and for how long.

How Do You Know If You Have Diastasis Recti

Keller (right) checks a student’s progress after the the final class. The fitness coach worked with an OB-GYN from Weill Cornell Medicine to standardize and evaluate her exercise program, which primarily targets abdominal muscles. Talia Herman for NPR Talia Herman for NPR “The best way is prevention,” says Dr. Raul Artal, an OB-GYN at St.

Diastasis Recti How To Tell

“The best way to do that is to exercise during pregnancy.” But, as Sharma, the Cornell OB-GYN, points out, no one has really vigorously studied these various exercises to see whether they actually fix diastasis recti. “There’s a general knowledge that exercise is going to help,” Sharma says. “But no one has really tested them in a standardized way.” In fact, the few studies that have been done haven’t been high enough quality to draw conclusions, researchers in Australia said a few years ago.

Diastasis Recti How To Check

A few years ago, she teamed up with Keller to start to gather some evidence on her technique. “We did a pilot study to see if the method is helpful for women,” Sharma says. The study was small — just 63 women. But the results were quite promising. After 12 weeks of doing Keller’s exercise — 10 minutes a day — all the women had fixed their diastasis recti, Sharma and Keller reported at ACOG’s annual meeting few years ago.

How To Fix Diastasis Recti Without Surgery

“We love to see that there is something we can do to help women.” The key exercise is typically performed while sitting crossed-legged, standing up or on all fours. But during Keller’s four-week class, she teaches many versions of the exercises. Tania Higham (left) and Maeve Clancy do a version laying on their backs.

How Long To Heal Diastasis Recti

But during Keller’s four-week class, she teaches many versions of the exercises. Tania Higham (left) and Maeve Clancy do a version laying on their backs. Talia Herman for NPR Now Sharma says she is working to put together a larger study to really nail down when the exercise works and how well.

How Do You Get Diastasis Recti

It’s surprisingly simple to do. “The exercise is a very small, very intense movement that’s almost imperceptible,” Keller says. “OK. We’re going to do another set.” Sitting on the floor cross-legged, with our hands on our bellies, we all take a big breath. “Let the belly fully expand,” Keller says.

What Causes Diastasis Recti

“Now we’re going to stay here near the spine. Hold this position,” she says. Then we take tiny breaths. With each exhale, we push our stomachs back further and further. “Tight, tighter,” Keller chants, rhythmically. You can do the exercise in several different positions, Keller says: sitting crossed-legged, sitting on your knees, standing with knees slightly bent, on all fours or laying on your side in the fetal position.

How To Fix Diastasis Recti

For the rest of the time, your belly is pulled all the way back into the spine. “The fingertips on the bellybutton are really important for this reason,” she says. “So you know that you’re squeezing tight, tighter with the belly, and you’re never bulging the bellybutton forward.” This is our fourth week of class, and we’ve been doing this same exercise on our own every day for at least 10 minutes.

How To Correct Diastasis Recti

Time to see whether we’ve flattened our bellies and resolved the diastasis recti. Keller pulls out a measuring tape and starts wrapping it around women’s middles. She also has us lie down on the floor, so she can measure the separation in our abdominal muscles. One by one, there is success after success.

How To Get Rid Of Diastasis Recti In Men

Many lost inches from their bellies. One woman had amazing results. “Oh my goodness, you lost nearly four inches from your belly circumference,” Keller exclaims. “That’s amazing!” How did I fare? Well, after three weeks, I didn’t completely close up the abdominal separation. My separation decreased from 1.2 inches to 0.8 inches.* But I did drop more than an inch from my belly circumference.

How To Repair Diastasis Recti

My abs are definitely firmer. And regularly doing this exercise brought a bonus benefit: My lower back pain has almost completely gone away. *I continued to do the exercises after the class had finished. I checked with in Keller three weeks later to have her measure my diastasis recti. At that point, the separation had dropped down to 0.6 inches, which meant technically I no longer have diastasis recti.

How To Test For Diastasis Recti

To define diastasis recti, let’s consider the words themselves. Diastasis means separation. Recti refers to the abdominal muscles, specifically the rectus abdominis muscles, or the outer-most muscles of your stomach. So this condition quite literally means abdominal muscle separation. Your abdominal muscles reside on either side of your midline and are connected by a tissue known as linea alba.

When Is Diastasis Recti Considered Closed

How Long Does Diastasis Recti Take To HealHow To Get Rid Of Diastasis Recti In Men

Pregnancy is a common cause of ab separation, though many other forces that create pressure within the abdominal cavity may also be to blame. These ab muscles and related connective tissue support the back and organs. When they are separated and thinned, your abdominal wall is weakened, making them less able to do so.

How To Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti While Pregnant

How To Tell If You Have Diastasis Recti While PregnantHow Do You Know If You Have Diastasis Recti

There are all sorts of fun names for this badge of motherhood, including pooch, mummy tummy, and baby belly. It is also to blame for the dreaded post-natal “when are you due?” question. A more scientific term you may hear for this form of muscle diastasis is divarication of the recti abdominis or DRAM.

What Is Diastasis Recti

A gap of four to five fingertips is considered severe diastasis recti. For a more exact read on your separated abdominal muscles or to check for hernias, you could get an ultrasound. But you can also answer the question “Do I have diastasis recti?” pretty easily yourself. Lie on the back with the knees bent at 90-degree angles and your feet flat on the ground.