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Physical therapy for diastasis recti

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is also known as abdominal separation. It occurs when the space between the left and right abdominal muscles are separated by more than 2.7 cm. Typically, the condition is only present in pregnant women and newborns, especially premature newborns.

Though the condition usually isn’t painful or life-threatening, it can lead to greater complications, including chronic low back, pelvic, or hip pain, constipation, and urinary incontinence. It can also make additional pregnancies more difficult, as it weakens the abdominal muscles.

For this reason, most patients with this condition wish to correct it. Fortunately, it’s never too late to do so — and it doesn’t require surgery, just strict adherence to a personalized physical therapy regimen.

Source: BabyCenter

Diastasis recti symptoms

Diastasis recti is characterized by a “pooch” or bulge in the stomach, which becomes more distinct when the abdominal muscles are contracted. This can lead to other symptoms, including chronic lower back pain, poor posture, constipation, urinary incontinence, and bloating.

In addition, diastasis recti can make later pregnancies more difficult, as it tends to result in weakened abdominal muscles.

The most common symptoms of diastasis recti include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Poor posture
  • Constipation

Source: Healthline

What causes diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is caused by excessive pressure in the abdominal muscles, typically as the result of pregnancy. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles and surrounding connective tissue are stretched by the uterus. At the same time, pregnancy hormones such as relaxin and estrogen relax the muscles and allow them to be stretched even further.

When newborn babies have diastasis recti, it’s almost always because they were born premature and their abdominal muscles didn’t have time to fully develop. In most of these cases the condition will correct itself with time.

The most common causes of diastasis recti include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Premature birth

Source: Healthline

Physical therapy for diastasis recti

Physical therapy is the leading treatment for diastasis recti. While individual physical therapy routines are tailored to each patient, a typical regimen will include postural training, stretching, bracing, and education.

Postural training is one of the most important components of curing diastasis recti, as proper posture will help patients stabilize their core and prevent further damage. Combined with careful stretching of the abdominal muscles and bracing of the low back and abdomen, patients can successfully strengthen their core and regain full function.

Source: Move Forward PT

Luna’s physical therapists treat
diastasis recti

Luna employs physical therapists who specialize in treating patients with diastasis recti after pregnancy. With effective strategies and a tailored exercise plan, women with diastasis recti can correct the condition once and for all, returning to the activities and life that they love.

Best of all, with Luna, patients can receive physical therapy for diastasis recti wherever it’s most convenient — at home, at the gym, or even at work. Our physical therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.

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