What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti (Abdominal Separation)

Diastasis recti (also known as abdominal separation or split abs) is a serious condition surrounded by plenty of misinformation.  I am passionate about empowering and educating my clients on how to help them heal their diastasis non-surgically if at all possible.

Diastasis recti is a separation of the rectus abdominis (six pack) ab muscle into right and left halves. Normally, the two sides of the muscle are joined at the linea alba at the body mid-line. Symptoms include, but are not exclusive to: a football like dome or a chasm appearing along the torso mid-line during upper ab curls, low back pain, a poochy pregnant like belly, organ pulsing and incontinence. It is possible to bring the ab muscles back together by doing the correct exercises with consistency and discipline. A proven method to heal diastasis is the Tupler TechniqueTM developed by Julie Tupler, RN the founder of Diastasis Rehab.

Ironically, doing lots of upper ab curls (crunches) in an effort to heal your diastasis will only make the situation worse. By doing lots of crunches, you are only strengthening your rectus abdominis in its separated state, not bringing it back together. This is where your very own internal muscular ab corset comes into play. Say hello to your new best friend, transverse abdominis (TVA).

Nature’s corset – your transverse abdominis muscle

In severe cases, especially those that are accompanied by an umbilical hernia, the abs may not return completely to their original position but their separation can be improved significantly. Additionally, when there is more than a three finger width separation, the wearing of a splint is highly recommended. The splint, not only provides much needed support, but also speeds up the recovery process by approximating the muscles back into their original position. A diastasis splint is different than spanks or a belly band, both of which compress the ab muscles rather than bringing them back together.

If you do have abdominal separation, you’ll need to adopt a more intense and disciplined approach to heal. In my Preggo Pilates program, I combine the use of the Tupler TechniqueTM with Pilates exercises that reinforce and strengthen your TVA as well as address your unique physical needs and goals. For more in-depth core work, assessment and treatment of split abdominals and a stimulating and fun overall body workout to increase strength, tone and postural awareness contact me and check out the Pilates for Diastasis series.

Diastasis Intake and Assessment

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