Some ladies are left with a ‘mummy tummy’, back pain, pelvic pain, incontinence and prolapse post delivery of a baby. Diastasis Recti or abdominal muscle separation is surrounded by stories or torn or split abdominal muscles leaving women with their insides falling out, so I hope this information provides you with some clarity.
So what is Diastasis Recti – It is defined as a gap between the abdominal muscles (six-pack muscles) of two finger-widths or greater.
Actually, its better if we understand this ‘gap’ as a stretching and weakening of the linea alba (midline between the muscles) and irrespective of the size of any ‘gap’ its possible to have an entirely dysfunctional core with a distance of less than two centimetres.
The focus for many years has been on closing the gap and thus fixing the problem but we now know that Diastasis Recti is not a ‘gap issue’ but it is a ’tissue issue’.
The entire abdominal wall, muscles, soft tissues, tendons, aponeurosis (tendon-like tissue), Fascia (connective tissues) and everything in-between, often shown as white areas on anatomical drawings, are all paying a part with respect to the overall function of someones core.
The core needs to function well to be able to withstand the internal abdominal pressure we create by walking, sneezing, coughing, lifting and more. If any one part of the core (skin, tissues, tendons, muscles, bones, blood) is not working optionally there is the potential for dysfunction which, is often worse for clients who have a greater distance between the six pack muscles.
Its also worth noting that is entirely possible for someone to continue to have a ‘gap’ between the bellies of the Rectus Abdominis (six pack muscles) but have tension in their midline and a fully functional core. Which supports that its a tissue issue not a gap issue.
So what now?
Can you exercise?
Will it heal?
Will the bellies close?
How long will it take to repair?
These are all questions I am asked all the time. Its impossible for me to give anyone an answer without having my hands and eyes on you. I need to see and feel what your tissues are doing before I can even know where we are starting from.
One thing for certain is our bodies heal in their own time and what we do with them and feed them makes a HUGE difference to how long that journey is.