WHAT IS A DIASTASIS RECTI?

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DIASTASIS RECTI

The word Diastasis means separation, the recti muscles are the outermost abdominal muscles, therefore it is a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles. So why should you care if your muscles are separated? The job of these muscles (called rectus abdominis), is to support your back and your organs. Furthermore, when the muscles separate the connective tissue (linea alba) joining these muscle stretches sideways. To achieve a strong core, your muscles must be close together.  The sideways stretching of the connective tissue causes it to become thinner and weaker like a layer of saran wrap. When this happens, it is NOT effectively supporting your belly button, back and organs. The abdominal muscles need to be together, narrowing the connective tissue & supporting your core.

Who can get diastasis recti?

Everybelly® means all women (baby or no baby), men and children are at risk for having Diastasis Recti.  Many people have Diastasis Recti and just don’t know it because checking for Diastasis Recti is not part of any medical or fitness evaluation.

At what age can you get diastasis Recti?

Everyone is born with their abdominal muscles separated! Typically, the muscles come together when we are three years old after our nervous system has developed, but this does not necessarily happen with everyone.  Our belly buttons are a weak spot in the connective tissue, so even if the muscles do come together, there is always the risk that they may come apart again with continuous stretching of the connective tissue.

What causes diastasis recti?

Diastasis Recti is caused by continuous stretching in both a forward and sideways direction of the connective tissue that joins the outermost muscles. This stretching caused by pregnancy, weight gain in the abdominal area, abdominal surgery where they fill the abdominal cavity with air, exercises like crunches and Pilates 100, activities where you arch your back like gymnastics and swimming in which you flare your ribs, and crossover activities like tennis and golf.

What are the effects of diastasis recti on the body?

Back pain, abdominal hernias, poor posture, pelvic floor problems, gastro- intestinal disturbances like constipation and bloating are all effects of Diastasis Recti. They occur when the support system for the back and organs becomes the weak connective tissue instead of the muscles. Most women who have had a baby will have Diastasis Recti.

What are some signs of diastasis recti?

Some signs of Diastasis Recti are a bulging belly, an 'outie' belly button, a half football bulge in your abdomen when bringing the shoulders off the floor, a belly that gets bigger after eating and at the end of the day.

How long does it take to close a diastasis?

The healing time depends on the severity of your Diastasis and your commitment to all 4 steps of the program making the time range from 6 weeks to a year or more. However, you will start seeing the healing process starting within the first 3 weeks, so be sure to take 'before' photos before starting the program as these will quickly become your motivation!

Is it ever too late to close diastasis recti?

No. It is never too late to close a Diastasis. There is a myth that you can only close your Diastasis right after you have had your baby. This is not true! Pregnancy is just one of the causes of Diastasis Recti. Men and children can have this condition also.