Whenever there is a large expansion experienced throughout your trunk, all of the abdominal muscles will be affected. Normal weight gain during pregnancy, abdominal weight gain in the absence of pregnancy, and having an abdominal surgery are all reasons someone may be diagnosed with Diastasis Recti (DRA). A Diastasis Recti means a separation of the abdominal muscles and their associated fascia that holds them together at the midline of the trunk. An abdominal separation greater than .9 to 2.7cm along the midline of the abdomen from the sternum (breastbone) to the pubic symphysis (joint between your left and right pelvic bone), is considered DRA. DRA by itself is not the main issue; the symptoms that may arise are more prevalent in determining the relevance of having a DRA. Some individuals are asymptomatic and may not seek physical therapy care to address it.
Several conditions are associated with Diastasis Recti (DRA). The two most common are low back pain and urinary incontinence.
If you believe you have a Diastasis Recti, you should know that this condition is highly responsive to Physical Therapy. A physical therapist will assess the extent of the separation and its impact on your function. A program can be devised to improve the inter-recti distance through manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, core strengthening, and functional training. Many people believe surgery is the answer, but it is often not required.
*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.
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Lee DG, Lee LJ, McLaughlin L. (2008). Stability, continence and breathing: The role of fascia following pregnancy and delivery. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 12(4), 333-348