You may not have heard of diastasis recti, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t suffered from it. If you have had a child, you more than likely have had at least a minor case of this disorder. However, there is nothing to worry about because it is usually relatively easy to fix. It is not life threatening, but it is something that has to be taken care of, so it doesn’t cause any further problems.
Although the term sounds scary, all diastasis recti means is that your abdominal muscles have a larger than normal gap between them. That means your left and right lower abdominals may be separated, so they aren’t lining up correctly. This can be unsightly, but also cause you pain because when your muscles are in the wrong place, they aren’t able to help support you properly. It can also keep you from being able to do the things you want to do, like wearing your old clothes and doing your normal exercises.
Many women suffer from it either after pregnancy or during, but they don’t really talk about it amongst themselves. This is because the topic is a bit uncomfortable. The condition can lead to a belly pooch or the appearance of still being pregnant even years after your baby is born, which may be the main reason it isn’t always discussed.
When Does this Happen
Although this separation can happen to anyone, whether they are male or female, it is much more common in women or newborns. In women, you are likely to suffer from abdominal separation when you are pregnant and after delivery. This is mainly due to the fact that pregnancy can be hard on your body, so you aren’t really sure what can happen. Furthermore, you can experience it after you have a child while your abdominal area or core is getting its strength back. It may also show up after any type of major injury or after you have surgery.
As for newborns, they sometimes get the disorder because their muscles have just started growing in and may become stretched out after a big meal or for many other reasons.
What Can You Do
This problem is not something that will greatly impact your life, but it is something that needs to be taken care of, so that you aren’t at risk for a hernia and you don’t have to live in pain. That is why there is a number of ways that have been developed to lessen the effects. Here are the most popular diastasis recti treatment options.
You can think of a diastasis recti splint as your first line of defense when you are trying to get your body back into shape after baby. A splint is really just a band that can help alleviate some of the pain you may be experiencing and help take the pressure off your back as well. It will also allow you to sit up straight, so you can be sure that you are working all the right muscles you need to, when you are going about your day. However, it is recommended that you use a splint in conjunction with exercising because the band itself is unlikely to fix the problem. It is also good to use when you exercise because it can keep your muscles properly aligned, so they are in the correct place when you start working out. This means you will be able to get better results and won’t have to worry about not having enough support.
As far as diastasis recti exercises go, there are basically two ways to approach the situation, depending on how your overall health is. They can help moms and women alike, so even if you don’t have any kids, you can still use these programs to help get stronger and healthier. It is also important to understand that it doesn’t matter how long ago you had a child, because you can still get back into shape with one of these options.
The first way is through the Mutu system, which is a very popular approach of exercising to strengthen your core and lessen the effects of the diastasis. It does not matter who you are or what your body type is because you can still get results when you use this exercise program. Besides that, there is also a low impact version if you have delivered recently or have other health problems that prevent you from being able to do more intense exercises.
If you are concerned that your body isn’t able to handle a formal exercise program, you can simply start doing low impact workouts on your own. This type of exercising is designed to lessen the chance that any muscles are hurt or any injuries are caused when you are exercising, so they can be done when you are recovering from an injury or are already experiencing pain. The best way to do this is by going swimming or doing water aerobics. You can also do yoga or Pilates to help you out.
There are also other types of professional programs you can look into, and you can meet with a nutritionist or personal trainer to see what advice they can offer you. There are a lot of solutions to this problem, but you may have to put a little work in to fix it.
In the most severe cases, surgery is also an option. If you have to get surgery, it indicates that the diastasis is so severe that it can’t be fixed by other means. Your doctor will be able to explain the process to you, and figure out what needs to be done.
You may also have to meet with a physical therapist, in order to learn the proper way to exercise or get back into shape after you have this disorder. They will be able to point you in the right direction and give you all the answers you need as well.
The Take Away
Any time you have a child, there is a chance that you may develop abdominal separation, but it isn’t widely talked about. This is because it can be unsightly and embarrassing to the people that suffer from it. However, you don’t have to live with it. Through the use of bands, exercise, and different types of therapy, you can get your body and your life back in order and feel good about yourself again. Do yourself a favor and understand that pregnancy and delivery take a toll on your body and do everything you can to make sure that you are doing what is best for your health.