Does Pelvic Floor Therapy Help Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis of the rectus abdominis refers to a separation of the rectus abdominis from the Linea alba1…
Ummm what? English, please.
Ok, start by drawing an imaginary line down the middle of your stomach.
On either side, you have your abdominal muscles frequently called the “six-pack”. The left and right sides of your abdominal muscles are attached by a band of tissue called the Linea alba.2
This Linea alba acts like a shoelace and maintains the connection from either side of your abdominal muscles. But sometimes the Linea alba can get overstretched resulting in Diastasis Recti2.
Diastasis Recti: How to Check for it
Medical descriptions aside. You’re probably not reading this blog because you want to know every scientific detail behind a Diastasis Recti. If you are, all the power to ya!
More than likely, you have a suspicion about your stomach muscles and a concern that you might be struggling with Diastasis Recti.
Here’s 4 simple steps to check for Diastasis Recti
Lay flat on your back.
Place your fingers right above the belly button, pointing down towards your pelvis, and press down gently.
Lift your head up slightly. You should feel your abdominal muscles contract on either side of your fingers.
If your fingers sink into a gap, (more than 2 fingers width or more) between the two sides of your abdominal muscles this is considered a Diastasis Recti.
If your suspicions about Diastasis Recti are confirmed or even if you’re not quite sure.
Don’t stress. Diastasis Recti is actually very common and can be healed without surgery most of the time.
Diastasis Recti during Pregnancy
Among the most frequent causes of Diastasis Recti is pregnancy. An estimated 60% of women experience Diastasis Recti due to pregnancy2.
Although this separation sounds scary, it's actually a very normal adaptation of your body to accommodate the growth of your baby.
After birth, your body will naturally try to “regroup” and the Linea alba will gradually regain its elasticity — healing itself. But in many cases, the tissue gets overstretched, and our bodies don’t have the proper mechanics to heal.
The good news is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy has proven to be a highly successful treatment for many moms, including Kasey…
Kasey’s Story of Healing and Recovery from Diastasis Recti
I ran a 10k race this year! Not only was this my first distance race since high school cross country, but this was nine years after my first child, five years after my second, and sixteen months after adopting my third. My body was a mess when the year started, and there is no way I could have accomplished this goal without Dr. Mallory’s help.
Motherhood — pregnancy, delivery, postpartum, hours in the rocking chair, and sleep deprivation — all adds up to a wrecked pelvic floor, back pain, core atrophy, and generally feeling weak. I had considered myself an athlete ten years ago, before my first pregnancy. I thought that I would “bounce back” and that pregnancy and motherhood would be a small blip on the radar of physical wellness. I was wrong. I had no idea how difficult recovery from becoming a mother and being a mother could be.
I finally decided that I needed some real, professional help after years of thinking that I could figure it out for myself. Six months into working with Dr. Mallory, and I’m realizing what a huge mistake it was to not see her sooner! My back pain is nearly completely gone. I can run. I can jump. I can bike. I can hold a plank! My diastasis recti gap has almost closed, and I haven’t felt this confident in my activities for nearly ten years.
I’m telling every mom or mom-to-be not to wait or hesitate to go see Dr. Mallory! It’s the best decision I made all year.
Peak Pelvic Health is committed to seeing physical therapy do more than just physically closing the gap of a Diastasis Recti. We prioritize healing with the whole body in mind!
Even if you’ve waited years to seek out help there’s always hope!
We got your back… and your pelvic floor too!
Why is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy BEST for Diastasis Recti?
Let’s visualize your body like a soda can. The sides of the can are your abdominal muscles that wrap around and attach to your ribs and spine. The lid is your diaphragm, and the bottom is your pelvic floor.
An unopened soda can is like a pressure canister. What would happen if we crushed the can’s bottom? It would likely explode - taking the path of least resistance.
In our bodies, especially after pregnancy, the path of least resistance is forward through the abdomen.
If your pelvic floor is tight, it can put extra strain on the Linea alba and prevent the Diastasis Recti from healing. This can be a consistent, low-grade pressure with daily tasks like breathing, lifting, and cleaning.
Now imagine if your back is tight, your pelvic floor is tight, and your diaphragm is not moving… that is a huge increase of pressure on the Linea alba.
Instead of focusing on just the abdomen, our Physical Therapists will prioritize your whole body.
The pelvic floor, the diaphragm, and the mechanics of your body (as it manages pressures) all influence your recovery from a Diastasis Recti. So it makes sense that your physical therapy plan will incorporate all these elements together.
Feeling Excited for Your Recovery? Us too!
Because honestly, when’s the last time your needs came first?
Peak Pelvic Health partners with moms to restore good body mechanics, while focusing on a positive body image during your postpartum journey. We care WAY more about YOU, and your experience, than we do about reaching some physical “standard” of recovery.
If you suspect you may be suffering from Diastasis Recti and can’t find relief, consider a PT who knows how the body works together as a whole.
Peak Pelvic Health is here to help you uncover the underlying issues and provide knowledgeable, research-backed, proven methods of physical therapy to get you on the road to recovery.
You can contact us through our website form, or by phone: 719-362-0330 if you are looking for help!