When is diastasis recti (or DRA – separation of the rectus abdominis), which is common but not always a problem, considered serious? The solution is determined by how it makes you feel and how it affects you, not by its width or size.
A severe DRA may be to blame for any back or abdominal pain you may be feeling as a result of poor core stability or function. When lifting, squatting or exercising causes you to feel unsteady or unsupported in your trunk, or if you experience back or abdominal pain.
Diastasis recti, its causes, and its effects on expectant mothers have all been made more clear to us. To help you understand your options, we’ve compiled a list of the various treatments for rectal separation in this article. Further details are provided regarding the need for rectal separation therapy.
What is Diastasis Recti?
The separation of the rectus abdominal muscles during and after pregnancy is known as diastasis recti (also referred to as diastasis rectus abdominis or diastasis). Along the front of your stomach, the rectus abdominis runs vertically. It’s frequently referred to as someone’s “six-pack abs.” The linea alba, a band of tissue that runs down the center, separates it into left and right sides. During pregnancy, the linea alba thins and pulls apart as your uterus grows, stretching your abdominal muscles. As it is pulled apart, this tissue band widens.
The linea alba can mend and reassemble itself after you give birth to your child. It retracts backs and is very elastic (much like a rubber band). The abdominal gap won’t close as much as it should when the tissue loses its elasticity from being stretched too far. This diastasis recti condition.
If you have diastasis, your belly may appear to stick out just above or below the belly button, making you appear pregnant months or years after giving birth.
A tummy bulge is all that diastasis recti look like in its mild form. However, in some circumstances, it can significantly reduce one’s quality of life and impair daily functioning. If left untreated, it also has the potential to cause future problems.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms – your condition could be more severe. A trained professional should always be consulted and sought for medical advice.
- Low Back Pain
- Incontinence – being unable to control the bladder and experiencing leakage
- Hernia – when an organ pushes through the separated hole between the abdominal muscles
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms – do seek medical help. It is advised to confirm the diagnosis of your condition is Diastasis Recti before beginning treatment by speaking with your former gynecologist or a doctor who specializes in women’s health. If you self-diagnose, this is to make sure that the diagnosis is correct and that the course of treatment is appropriate for your condition.
When is Diastasis Recti Considered Severe?
Stages of Diastasis Recti
We will classify the severity of diastasis recti cases into 3 levels: mild, moderate and severe.
As was already mentioned, after delivery, there will likely be some degree of separation. If you separation is less than 2 fingers width apart – you do not have diastasis recti. This degree of separation in the abdominal muscles is expected and should heal by itself within 6 to 8 weeks after childbirth.
Mild Diastasis Recti
If the separation is 2 to 3 fingers width apart, you have mild diastasis recti. This is the minimum classification for diastasis recti – one should measure a separation of at least 2 fingers width apart in order to be certain that it is indeed diastasis recti
If the separation is 3 to 4 fingers width apart, you have moderate diastasis recti.
Severe Diastasis Recti
If the separation is 4 fingers width apart or more, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment. This extreme degree of separation raises the risk of complications like a hernia or harmed pelvic floor functions. This might have a bad effect on how you live your life and how you perform daily tasks.
Whether you’re a new mom or trying to heal a diastasis recti years later – if you have pain from a If your back hurts, if your core feels weak, unstable, or like you’re “falling out at the front,” or if your trunk is incapable of performing the tasks you need it to, there may be a problem. It might be caused by weak pelvic floor muscles or bladder issues. 66% of women with diastasis recti have some level of pelvic floor dysfunction**.
Diastasis is deemed severe when the connective tissue is stretched and the muscles in your core are unable to support your pelvis and abdominal region. Specifically, when your deep core cannot generate tension and hold you stable and strong.
How to Treat Diastasis Recti at Home?
Core Strengthening Exercises
These exercises have as their main goal the strengthening of the deep core muscles, including the transverse abdominous and pelvic floor muscles. An increase in intra-abdominal pressure can result from improperly executed or inappropriate core strengthening exercises. This force may cause further abdominal separation cause your condition to worsen. Make sure you’re engaging in diastasis recti-appropriate core strengthening exercises.
During the confinement phase of your postpartum recovery, tummy binding or postpartum wrapping is fairly common. The main goal is to help new mummies develop stronger core muscles and stop diastasis recti from getting worse. You can start binding as soon as five days after delivery, and you can wear the binder for as long as it is comfortable for you. In order to avoid relying on the binder for core strength, binders should only be worn for brief periods of time. Do note that wearing a binder does increase abdominal pressure and can result in more pelvic floor weakness problems. If you have any questions about binding, talk to your doctor.
When the connective tissue is stretched and your core muscles can no longer support your pelvis and abdominal region, a diastasis recti is deemed severe. Consult your doctor right away if you have concerns about your postpartum bloating and you are still dealing with a bulging, sunken/sagging, or sagging appearance of your abdomen.