Diastasis Recti is a spreading of midline that runs down your abdomen. It is the widening of the gap between your abdominal muscles. The common cause of diastasis recti (DR) is pregnancy, but it can also occur due to wrong workout plans. Diastasis recti repair is easy with few exercises recommended by your physician.
Heavy crunches, weight-lifting, and vigorous abdominal exercises usually contribute to diastasis recti. But it is not gender-specific, even men and babies can suffer from diastasis recti. Research suggests, 60% of the women in the U.S have this issue after six months of child-birth. Only 30% of women face the loosening of abdominal muscles after a year of pregnancy.
You can fix the loose muscles with few tips and exercises, but for that, you need to ask the following questions first.
How Do You Identify Know If You Have Diastasis Recti?
You don’t need a doctor to test whether you have a DR, you can check with your fingers at home and find out yourself.
- Lie on your back on the floor and relax. Bend your knees with your soles touching the floor.
- Check your navel and place your fingertips two inches above it. Lift your head and neck from the floor to a certain degree without lifting your shoulders.
- Push your fingers in your abdomen, if you feel a gap below your fingers, then that is Diastasis Recti.
- If the gap is 1-2 finger-width and your muscles are firm, it is not DR.
How Long Does It Take to Fix the DR?
Diastasis recti repair is not a tough task. In typical cases, it usually heals naturally with contraction of muscles and uterus. Most of the women don’t even realize whether they had DR. In a span of six weeks to three months, the muscles restore to its standard size after postpartum.
If the DR is persistent, then you need to intervene with science-backed workouts and treatment. Making your abdominal muscles firm may take months or years, depending upon your body type and metabolic rate.
Does the Gap Close Completely?
Most of the women worry about bulging tummy, also known as “mommy pouch”. They do look pregnant even after postpartum. It is the side-effect of having diastasis recti.
But it is fine to have some gap, and it does not close completely. Instead, you must continue doing workouts recommended by your doctor and make your muscles firmer.
What Kind of Activities should I Avoid?
Your inner core is weak when you have DR. Hence, it is best to avoid heavy weight-lifting workout, sprinting on a treadmill, and high-impact exercises. Women often suffer from incontinence and poor pelvic muscles due to DR.
This suffering can be reduced to a large extent with proper diet and taking efforts to build up a strong core. Healing and recovery take time, but good habits and a healthy lifestyle must be incorporated in daily routine.
Is there any Surgery Required?
Surgery is not a wise solution every time. Many doctors may suggest you undergo a surgery called tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. You can heal the DR with adequately targeted exercise programs.
Surgeries come with the baggage of scars, injections, and pain. If your body structure is worsened due to DR and is affecting your self-worth only then opt for surgery. But experts say only in extreme cases surgeries must be performed.