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Linking Diastasis Recti and Physiotherapy

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Have you heard about DIASTASIS RECTI? This is a bit of a read but I promise it’s worth it! Diastasis Recti is a common issue to face during pregnancy and post-partum, not to mention, it can go un-helped for years! Diastasis Recti is the separation and stretching of the Linea Alba, the thick fascia that connects our main force producing abdominal muscle (Rectus Abdominis)! This is due to stretching of the fascia, loss of collagen in the process, and loss of force producing capability of the muscle. There is hope though! By properly engaging our deeper core stabilizing muscles we can try to ‘knit’ the fascia back together. This will help align collagen fibres to build back together and allow for the Rectus Abdominis Muscle to produce more force. However, there’s a few things you want to avoid! 1. Tenting of bulging of the abdominal muscles - this is often seen when doing crunches or BREATH HOLDING, it is NOT the goal! We want to engage those deeper core muscles instead, which should feel like ‘zippering’ up the deep core muscles. It is much lower intensity than doing something like a crunch or sit up- which brings me to my next point. 2. Avoid doing exercises that are too hard and that involve the outer abdominal muscles (such as Rectus Abdominis). You may be thinking “well isn’t that the muscle that has been separated? Don’t we want to strengthen it?” Yes and No. We want to help it’s fascial layers knit back together not necessarily try to produce a large contraction of a muscle that may not even be capable of doing so at the moment. By strengthening those deeper muscles, we help heal, align, and strengthen the fascia of the Rectus Abdominis. 3. Don’t think the results will happen instantly, or in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately, this type of condition takes its time to heal. It may take up to 2 years for the linea alba to come together and allow the Rectus Abdominis muscle to produce its potential. It will also take commitment, and daily engagement of these low-intensity but specific exercises.

The good news is- we can help you! And you can help you! If you feel that you are struggling with Diastasis Recti and aren’t sure where to start we have a highly educated and knowledgeable team to help you along the way from Physiotherapy to exercise therapy. Give us a call at 780-831-0123 to book in.

Written by: Sarah Kerestes, BSc Kinesiology MSc Physiotherapy

If you are interested on learning more about the subject, here is a very thorough video with great information:

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