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Symptoms Of A Diastasis

  • Abnormal separation
  • Feeling of a hole in the stomach
  • Physical distortion(distended belly, ie. appearing six months pregnant without pregnancy)
  • Low-back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Wrinkled Belly Button

Diastasis recti it’s a term many of us could go our whole life without hearing, yet it can be a defining characteristic of our health. As a woman you are most likely to suffer this condition as a result of pregnancy and birth. It is a breach within the abdominal muscles when there is a separation of the two halves of the muscles along the linea alba. 

The linea alba, which lies at the junction above and below your belly button is responsible for stabilizing and offering support to these muscles. When stretched in this manner it can thin and stay weak or it can rupture, becoming a hernia. Ut can come back together or simply remain malformed. It can feel like you have a literal hole in your stomach. 

Diastasis is common. All new moms, 100% of them, experience it to some extent in conjunction with a stretch of the linea alba by week 35 of pregnancy. Officially, it is found to persist in 35-60% of women immediately postpartum and 39.3% of women at six months postpartum. Without proper recovery and training a diastasis will not spontaneously heal itself after six to  eight weeks. Men and women who have never experienced pregnancy can suffer as well, if there are issues with weight gain or improper lifting and loading techniques which can place unnecessary strain on the abdominal wall and linea alba.

As we all know, just because it is common does not mean it is comfortable. Aesthetically, diastasis recti may present as the much discussed “Mommy pouch”. The distending of your belly can be a sign of other issues, such as bloating  or weakness in the lower abdominal muscles. For many of us, it is the physical reminder of what our body withstodd during pregnancy that refuses to go away. For some, this can be worse than others. 

There are different degrees of injury to be aware of if you do suffer from a condition. With a very large amount of separation, there’s a chance that you will actually have a break in the fascia, a hernia, this means that your organs are less protected and more exposed. At this point, the separation could be too large to be healed with therapy and surgery becomes an option. It is imperative that physical therapy occurs before any surgery so one can start “prehabbing”, which means training the muscles before they are further impaired by surgery. After the surgery, it is recommended to seek further physical therapy to deal with the scarring and underlying issues that caused their herniation in the first place. 

If and when you suffer from diastasis recti, at whatever degree you do, you can do more than heal. When working on this part of your body you are actually attempting to improve the tension of the linea alba, not simply closing the gap that has been created. It is much more accurate to say that you are generating tension so that the gap you already have is less obvious and less likely to cause other issues. When we do this, we are forcing the tissue to absorb the tension and manage pressure more efficiently. 

Excerpt From Dr. Allison Feldt’s Book “Restore Your Body After Kids The Secret To Avoid Peeing Your Pants And Achy Joints As You Age” 


Allison Feldt

Body Motion Physical Therapy

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