Diastasis Recti or “DR” is abdominal separation along the lines alba.
While it is most common with pregnancy and postpartum, anyone can get it from not regulating their intra-abdominal pressure correctly.
DR can lead to “umbilical and ventral hernias, core dysfunction due to a weak inner core unit where pooches form (and getting a flat tummy again seems impossible), back pain, digestion issues, pelvis instability, and pelvic floor dysfunction” (Bower 17).
All of these are issues many people face throughout their life and could have been prevented easily with just knowing proper breathing technique and core activation.
Do I Have DR?
So now you are probably wondering if you have it, and if you do how do you fix it?
A quick way to test is by lying flat on your back with your knees up and seeing how deep your fingers go into the center of your stomach.
If your fingers go deep into your stomach, or you feel as though there is little resistance as your fingers sink into your abdomen, you likely have DR.
Seeing a doctor to confirm this is ideal, because they will also be able to guide you in the right direction on how to begin the healing process.
But Now What?
When you have DR, exercises are very restricted, especially abdominal exercises.
Having a healthy and functional core is important for everything in your every day life.
It is used in every aspect of your day so when it is compromised, other parts of your body try to pick up the slack. This is why many have back pain, incontinence, and the other symptoms listed above.
When trying to heal DR it is important to stay patient and consistent with your exercises. The exercises listed in the “DO” list are safe to do multiple times a day and will help in your recovery immensely.
Ask The Pros
If DR is something you are dealing with, having a professional to help you with the healing is recommended.
Personal trainers and physical therapist are great sources of knowledge that can help guide you towards a stronger and more functional core. Many factors go into healing your lines alba and having someone who is well versed in the issue is important for ensuring you are recovering properly.
Diaphragmatic breathing, regulating intra-abdominal pressure, proper wrapping of your transverse abdominal muscles, and pelvic floor activation are all concepts that go into healing DR and this can be truly overwhelming, and many times frustrating to figure out on your own.
Working for HomeFit, I have encountered many clients suffering with DR and some not even realizing the havoc it has on their every day life.
Understanding the early signs can help prevent further damage and help the healing process go in the right direction.
Listed below are a few exercise Do’s and Don’ts:
Cat and Cow yoga pose
Side plank hip lifts
Extreme Diastasis Recti can often be prevented with proper exercise techniques and routines incorporated into your every day life.
If you feel this is something you are experiencing, give yourself that quick test explained above and start digging for more information.
HomeFit has many resources to help you get moving in the right direction, and reading this blog is a great place to start!
And if you are someone who has gone through DR or currently batting it, we would love to hear more about your story and approach in the comments below.
Bower, Hannah. The Functional Core: Part 1. 2019. Pg 17.