The abdominal separation caused by diastasis recti (DR) is no joke. It takes time for the abdominal walls and muscles to heal. Without the proper and recommended type of rehabilitation, it can lead to severe and long-term complications.
The question of how to fix diastasis recti applies not only to women but to children and men as well. Yes—women are not the only ones at risk for DR. At the same time, petite individuals, women with multiple pregnancies, those aged 35 and above, as well as those with a history of DR in their family are more likely to develop the said condition later on.
Not all people are aptly knowledgeable about this condition. Some are left to believe false information, thus increasing their susceptibility to complications related to Symptoms of diastasis recti.
Here’s a quick run-down on the myths surrounding diastasis recti, along with the corresponding fact to explain it:
Myth: It cannot be prevented.
Fact: It can!
There are specific activities that can be avoided to reduce the rate at which the abdominal walls separate. At the same time, if diastasis recti are neglected and not given the proper care for a long time, it will take even longer to heal it.
Myth: Sticking to a single type of exercise is enough to fix DR.
Fact: A combination of expert-recommended exercises is ideal and safer.
Flattening the abdominal area and closing the midline should be done with caution and precision. Exercises that involve bending backwards, using the hands and feet for support, or carrying heavy objects and weights will only worsen diastasis recti.
Myth: All pregnant women will experience diastasis recti.
Fact: Roughly 25% to 95% of pregnant women are at risk of developing diastasis recti.
Every pregnancy is unique. The likelihood of developing DR will depend on the expecting mother’s family health history and physical constitution. The external factors that regularly interact with a pregnant woman also contribute to the rate at which their abdominal muscles expand.
Myth: The presence of a “mommy tummy” automatically signals the onset of DR.
Fact: There is a correct way to determine whether a bloating tummy is a diastasis recti or not.
Do a slight abdominal crunch and press fingers over and under the belly button. If the abdominal wall separation felt takes more than two fingers in length, then it is considered a DR. Otherwise, it is a regular or non-life-threatening bulge on the stomach.
Myth: Wearing binders or splints are highly effective in fixing excess abdominal muscle expansion.
Fact: Binders and splints serve a different purpose, other than to curb or speed up the healing process of DR.
The primary purpose of wearing a binder or splinter is to diminish the discomfort felt by new moms on the back and the pelvic area. Additionally, binders provide additional support to the patient’s internal organs. As such, the extended use of splinters or binders can potentially weaken the torso’s stability and the affected individual’s core strength.
The risk factors for diastasis recti include hernia, incorrect or inadequate posture, and prolonged pain in the lower back.
There is not a single solution on how to fix diastasis recti. At best, patients and concerned individuals should seek the help of healthcare professionals to help them understand their condition better and find a combination of rehabilitative activities that suit them best.