Unfortunately, many people with a diastasis recti do not know they have one. In a lot of cases, they can go undetected without showing any signs of discomfort or pain. And, although in some cases a DR is not very serious, it is important to understand what they look like and the symptoms that can occur when one is present in order to maintain your health and body's function.
Short Summary of What a Diastasis Recti is
A diastasis recti is a slack in the tension of the connective tissue of the core (linea alba) which lies between 6-pack muscles. This lack of tension can sometimes create a separation or gap between the core muscles. DR separation can occur anywhere along the midline of the core: from the pubic bone up to the base of the rib cage.
How to Tell if You Have a Diastasis Recti
A diastasis recti is a very common and very treatable condition. Although DR is most commonly associated with postpartum mothers, it can equally affect men. Diastasis Recti is an issue of abdominal pressure, not gender.
Many symptoms can be present with a diastasis recti. However, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Bulge in your abdominal core (also called by some as a “pooch.”)
- Feeling like your midsection is larger, less toned than the rest of your body. (Especially true if you have had a pregnancy.)
- Sense of having a weak core (your daily activities lack the intrinsic support of your core.)
- Pelvic floor issues (i.e. leakage)
- Abdominal gaping
- Pain in your lower back
- Poor posture
One of the most common questions received by Lauren and her crew regarding DR is whether or not a diastasis recti can affect digestion. Although her expertise is not in dietary issues, it has been found that some dietary issues such as gluten and dairy intolerance resolve once the DR has healed or her clients' cores have become more functional. Yet, it is not common to everyone.
Is DR Treatable?
The answer to this question varies from person to person. However, in most cases the answer is yes. However, it is important to make a few distinctions.
- Having a flat tummy and abs does not guarantee a healthy core
- Significant amounts of body fat can still mean a functional core
- A DR gap does not have to close completely for the core to be functional
- Function over form
Many of RYC clients complete Lauren's program while still having a bit of a belly. Healing is not a magic trick that immediately rids the body of fat and creates a model body. However, the success rate of healing and treating diastasis recti is high! Rehab is the best option for strengthening the core and regaining muscle function and stability. Addressing the difficult symptoms is the primary goal while also implementing intelligent exercise routines and practices (i.e. breathing techniques, correct posture, and safe, technical weightlifting practices) to strengthen and aid the core in its recovery.