Resolving a Diastasis Recti with Physical Therapy
Ab Separation after Childbirth is Common, but not Normal!
WHAT IS A DIASTASIS RECTI?
During the final weeks of pregnancy, the abdominal muscles widen to allow the stomach to continue to expand with the growing baby. Instead of a single 'sixpack', the muscles look more like two separate groups of 3. This happens in all women in the third trimester.
After childbirth, more than half of women may need help in restoring tension across the stomach to draw these closer together again. Cosmetically, this can create a 'pregnancy pooch', but it is also linked with low back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, poor posture, and incontinence. A diastasis recti is often most noticeable during exercise or when lifting something heavy.
You can often determine if you have a diastasis with a simple home test, by lying on your back with your feet on the floor and knees up. Raise your head off the ground slightly to activate the abdominal muscles. When you feel the space between them, if you notice a gap (usually of two fingerwidths or more) it would be a diastasis recti.
HOW DOES PELVIC PT HELP?
Fortunately, it is possible to resolve a diastasis naturally and without surgery, regardless of how long it has been since childbirth. Pelvic floor physical therapy works to identify the underlying cause, find which muscles aren't functioning properly, and begin to restore the core to normal function.
It's not just about strengthening muscles - your physical therapist should also be doing hands-on work to eliminate trigger points, mobilize fascia, and determine whether there is anything else holding your body back from healing!
THE PELVICSANITY DIFFERENCE
At PelvicSanity, your physical therapist will be a specialist in the field and an expert in dealing with diastasis recti and post-natal recovery. Many of our patients have been to multiple doctors for their symptoms before finding success here at PelvicSanity.
We believe full-length sessions are crucial to success with pelvic PT, so all appointments at PelvicSanity are an hour in length and spent entirely with a pelvic floor specialist. You’ll never be hooked up to electrodes, see an aide instead of a physical therapist, or be told to ‘just do your Kegels.’ We create a positive, calm environment for healing in private treatment rooms.
We also believe the pelvic floor can’t be treated in isolation, so your treatment will address both the pelvic floor and the external muscles that connect and influence the entire pelvis for optimal results.
YOUR INITIAL EVALUATION
Your initial evaluation will be an hour in length, and have three major components:
Consultation: Most of our patients have been to multiple doctors, but have never really felt listened to in their appointments. In your initial evaluation you’ll have a chance to go through your medical history with your physical therapist. We’ll listen to you and ask about your personal goals for physical therapy.
Assessment: Next your physical therapist will do a complete assessment. They will look at your posture, hip and pelvic alignment, fascia, scar tissue, and anything else influencing your pelvis. Then they will do an internal evaluation, looking for trigger points and dysfunction within the pelvic floor muscles.
Treatment: We also want to know how your body responds to treatment, so your initial evaluation also includes targeted treatment. You’ll also leave with ‘homework’ that you can be doing in between your visits to build on the improvements with physical therapy.
"My life has truly been changed since my first treatment at PelvicSanity. I have been taken care of in the most kind, professional, and beneficial manner. I never knew I could feel this great!"
Of new mothers notice a diastasis following pregnancy and need help to restore normal function across the abdominals
The second I walk through the door at Pelvic Sanity, I instantly feel better. The environment is wonderfully calming, and I know I'm always in good hands.
The entire core needs to work together to restore tension across the abdomen.