Diastasis Recti What Exactly Is It and just how It’s Treated

 

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Diastasis recti is the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis, or “six-pack” muscles, which meet at the midline of your stomach. Diastasis recti is very common during and following. “Diastasis” means separation. “Recti” refers to your ab muscles called the “rectus abdominis.” When the ab muscles move aside like this, the uterus, bowels, and other organs have only a thin band.

Diastasis recti, also called rectus abdominis diastasis (RAD), is a separation of abdominal muscles sometimes caused by pregnancy, obesity, prior abdominal surgery, or connective tissue disorder. Diastasis recti in men happen when an excessive amount of weight loss is put on your abdominal muscles. This can make them stretch and isolated.

The partition in the muscles permits what’s inside of the abdomen, for the most part, the intestines, to push through the tissues. This structures a lump. Diastasis recti is a separation of the abdominals muscles. It is a naturally occurring thinning of the linea alba (the fascia which holds your six pack together). This allows your abdomen to stretch and grow a human inside you.

It is completely normal and the majority of women experience abdominal separation during/after pregnancy. Physical therapy done consistently and over time is usually enough to correct cases of diastasis recti. Surgical options do exist and may help in very severe cases, but surgery is often unnecessary, and therefore, very rare. A health expert will diagnose the condition before prescribing any therapeutic procedure.

Carefully watch out for symptoms mentioned above to identify diastasis recti. Here are some diastasis recti treatments: 1. Surgery. An operation or surgery will help you eliminate diastasis recti.

The surgery can be conventional, laparoscopic, or endoscopic. As a result, people with diastasis recti can have back pain, constipation, and possibly even a hernia. Diastasis recti surgery repairs the damage, bringing the rectus muscles back to their original position and strengthening the abdominal wall. Also known as: Tummy Tuck, Abdominoplasty.

Diastasis recti is classified as a gap of roughly 2.7 cm (just over an inch) or greater between your abdominal muscles, which roughly equates to two fingertips. A gap of four to five fingertips is considered severe diastasis recti. For a more exact read on your separated abdominal muscles or to check for hernias, you could get an ultrasound. It is crucial to recognize the symptoms of diastasis recti in men as the thinning of the muscle tissue can promote a hernia from protruding nearby organs.

Diastasis recti treatment for men includes several specialized exercises that target the muscles. We have outlined five diastasis recti exercises for men below. 1. Exercise #1.

List of related literature:

• The physiological Diastasis recti abdominis in a normal pregnancy (from the 5th month of pregnancy), which occurs in nearly every pregnant woman and gradually regresses after birth, should be differentiated from those pathological forms of Diastasis rectithat do not recede.

“Sobotta Anatomy Textbook: English Edition with Latin Nomenclature” by Friedrich Paulsen, Tobias M. Böckers, Jens Waschke, Stephan Winkler, Katja Dalkowski, Jörg Mair, Sonja Klebe
from Sobotta Anatomy Textbook: English Edition with Latin Nomenclature
by Friedrich Paulsen, Tobias M. Böckers, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018

As the patient lifts her head, you may see the diastasis recti, or separation of the abdominal muscles, which occurs during pregnancy.

“Physical Examination and Health Assessment Canadian E-Book” by Carolyn Jarvis, Annette J. Browne, June MacDonald-Jenkins, Marian Luctkar-Flude
from Physical Examination and Health Assessment Canadian E-Book
by Carolyn Jarvis, Annette J. Browne, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018

Diastasis recti

“Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certification Study Question Book” by JoAnne Silbert-Flagg, Elizabeth Sloand
from Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certification Study Question Book
by JoAnne Silbert-Flagg, Elizabeth Sloand
Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC, 2010

Diastasis recti abdominis, separation of the abdominal wall musculature, can be noted with light palpation over the midquadrant.

“Pediatric Physical Examination E-Book: An Illustrated Handbook” by Karen Duderstadt
from Pediatric Physical Examination E-Book: An Illustrated Handbook
by Karen Duderstadt
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013

This usually manifests as a bulge or protrusion in the midepigastrium surrounded by the diastasis recti and is most often properitoneal fat or a portion of the falciform ligament.

“Current Surgical Therapy E-Book” by John L. Cameron, Andrew M. Cameron
from Current Surgical Therapy E-Book
by John L. Cameron, Andrew M. Cameron
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013

A diastasis recti decreases the ability of the rectus muscles to stabilize the core, which results in the formation of MTrPs in the abdominal musculature, which can cause pelvic pain and dysfunction.

“Orthopedic Rehabilitation Clinical Advisor E-Book” by Derrick Sueki, Jacklyn Brechter
from Orthopedic Rehabilitation Clinical Advisor E-Book
by Derrick Sueki, Jacklyn Brechter
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009

Diastasis recti occurs more often in pregnancy and the postpartum period.

“Mosby's Guide to Physical Examination E-Book” by Henry M. Seidel, Rosalyn W. Stewart, Jane W. Ball, Joyce E. Dains, John A. Flynn, Barry S. Solomon
from Mosby’s Guide to Physical Examination E-Book
by Henry M. Seidel, Rosalyn W. Stewart, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

As the woman lifts her head, you may see the diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles, which occurs during pregnancy, with the muscles returning together after pregnancy with abdominal exercise.

“Jarvis's Physical Examination and Health Assessment E-Book” by Helen Forbes, Elizabeth Watt
from Jarvis’s Physical Examination and Health Assessment E-Book
by Helen Forbes, Elizabeth Watt
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011

The rectus abdominis muscles may remain separated at the midline, a condition known as diastasis recti, which is most likely to occur in grande multiparous women or in those who have had a multiple pregnancy or polyhydramnios.

“Mayes' Midwifery E-Book: A Textbook for Midwives” by Sue Macdonald
from Mayes’ Midwifery E-Book: A Textbook for Midwives
by Sue Macdonald
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011

Diastasis recti is a separation of the rectus abdominis muscles without a defect in the abdominal fascia.

“Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease E-Book: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management, Expert Consult Premium Edition Enhanced Online Features” by Mark Feldman, Lawrence S. Friedman, Lawrence J. Brandt
from Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease E-Book: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management, Expert Consult Premium Edition Enhanced Online Features
by Mark Feldman, Lawrence S. Friedman, Lawrence J. Brandt
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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41 comments

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  • Learning about this changed my life in one week. Ive been stuck with baby belly for 10 years and pretty much told this is my existence and being told this i look pregnant all the time. I hide from pics etc. since I started this exercises to train it was like rapid change. I didn’t engage my core correctly bc I had digestive diseases that caused me pain when I did certain ab exercises. Then I found I’ve been doing them wrong and worsen my stomach more and more over the years bc I would over exert and didn’t engage my core. I also have severe back and neck pain and can’t do anything for long. Its like my body mid section has no control. I was almost convinced it was because of my c section and maybe they messed something up and was told that sometimes ppl get stomach problems after it… but Now that those things are not factors anymore and treatment squared away I was able to do the right exercises properly. It’s like I’m getting back to who I was. So happy to have found this and this FIXED my chronic constipation that’s been ruining my life for years. Doctors did all kinds of test and nothing else was the matter and was sent to a nutritionist. Nothing really improved it much. It just felt like I was too weak and was straining badly. Sorry for the tmi but it ruined my life. I’m just happy now so many ppl like u are putting out info like this bc I really found my cure and it couldn’t have came in a better time… this is so amazing thank you ����

  • Hi dear…I have watched your 3 4 videos and been doing the exercises u suggested to close the gap caused by DR..Its been more than a month but I cant notice any difference..Can you guide me more??

  • I guess 48 years later is too late to start these exercises. LOL. Even though I had always had a very “flat” abdomen after 2 babies and was within 5 pounds of non-pregnant status, I had the midline bulge, the doctors dismissed my observation and credited it to mid 30’s pregnancy and stated there was no solution except to accept my new body image. Maybe I would have been too lazy or occupied with 3 children to adhere to an exercise program anyway. (Got the Kegels down pat!) Hope practitioners like Dr. Jen can get this word out. Meanwhile, I will coninue to work on acceptance and put on my Spanx for special occasion outfits.

  • I literally JUST found out this morning that I have Diastasis. My daughter is now 4. I’ve always been into fitness but thought that this is how my tummy was gonna look. The recent exercises I’ve been doing have actually been worse for me.
    I had no idea & have been freaking out this morning.
    Thank you for your helpful video to all of us!

  • May I presume that these procedures apply to men as well as women? I have a very large umbilical hernia, and my internist has told me that surgeries are quite prone to failure. I’d prefer to use your techniques.

  • Hi Michelle, I just found your exercise and I have been going the wrong exercise for 6 years now, I want to know if this exercise will help heal me 6 years of wrong exercise?

  • Hi I am a future osteopath and I love your videos! I would like an advice from you if it’s possibile: I am not post pregnancy but I have a low belly fat that I can’t get rid off. I tried so many Abs exercise and I was wondering if these exercises on the deep core muscles would be useful for my situation. Can you help me?

  • Hello, my question is when is it safe to start crunches and planks after you’ve worked on this problem? How long should we work on it before doing more intense core exercises? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I really don’t mind the wait. I wanna make sure I do this right. I had twins almost 10 years ago after five other single pregnancies. Always bounced back after my single pregnancies but had a diastasis recti although I never realized that’s what was going on pre YouTube days. Then with my twins I worked hard and lost a lot of weight by the time they were 5 months, then stopped working out and went full on mommy mode not time for me the past 10 years and gained it all back.

    But once it all fell apart I tried getting it back a few years ago and it’s been hard but I’m getting there. I’ve gone up and down with acceptance and trying to get it off. I’ve finally made a difference with intermittent fasting, a belly binder, but I know exercise is key. When I was younger I could lose weight like nothing, just eat less or work out 20 minutes a day and poof, gone. But now as I get older it’s sooooo much harder to get it off that I’ve given up at times, but I’m more determined than ever. I don’t mind aging, but I’m not gonna let it all go weight-wise, then it’s all over. I’m 41.

    Long story short, I’m starting to lose weight but realize I have this problem and I may have made it worse at some point in the past few years when trying to lose the weight I gained back. Um, so here I am a mess. I’ve done a belly binder, which I know you’re supposed to do with exercise but couldn’t make time to do the exercises. I work and sit at my desk all the time. If I’m not at my desk I’m doing something for my kids. I am finally ready to do this and want to do it right. I’ve saved your video and a couple other safe ones to my favorites tab on Edge, but just want to know when am I in the clear to move forward with planks and crunches. I love them and it was a bummer when I realized they were making my belly worse.:( lol.

  • I have had prolapse repairs after the birth of my daughter then surgery for an umbilical hernia I have been terrified to do anything exercise related my gap was 5 fingers about 2/3now hopefully this helps

  • Oh gosh! I have all symptoms and have been making it worse by doing crunches thinking it would help. Im 15 months postpartum and I hope I found you sooner �� I definitely am looking forward to your program because I want to follow it �� So glad I found and subscribed to your channel. Best wishes ��

  • hi.. i am a 36 old man..a year ago i lost 15kg and now im almost fat free..the problem is..my stomack pulled back since i dont eat to much now..and it left a hole in my muscles..i have a hole in my upper abdomen and under my left rib cage..its like the muscles are torn..i have a bit heavy work so every time im on my feet and working more than 2 hours..and i have to finish the shift for full 8 hours..i get a horible back pain and my stomach bloats and hurts so much i allmost pass out every day at work..i have seen a doctor and they knew nothing:S so i am taking pain pills every day..i will try what you are saying but i was just wondering if you know anything about it or will it even help because im kinda desperate..i dont think i can keep my job this way and i really need it..i dont even know if stomack is suppose to become full of air and hurt from diastasis recti..i know it does but i dont know if it should hurt this much:S i was checked for tumors and checked all organs and spine and everything is ok with organs and bones.. if u can help in any way i would be very thankfull..sorry for my english its not my language.. P.S. i dont have hernia..witch is strange

  • ⭐⭐ Leaving a Question or Comment? ⭐⭐ Hit the �� SUBSCRIBE �� button above first (if you haven’t already), and make sure you mention you’ve subscribed because I like to respond to my subscribers if I can!

  • I believe I have this. I have measure 3 fingers between my abdominal walls. My daughter is now 2 and I’m just realizing that’s I have this. I have been complaining about my stomach and too ashame to say about the little squirt when laughing or scared

  • Hi, can i do this exercises if i have umbilical hernia, is there any risk to strangulate it, if so?…and, do you also have a video for fixing umbilical hernia? When i press the belly button, in certain exercises, the right is to exhale, right? I ask bcs recently i have seen the opposite, inhaling…Tyvm

  • I am a very physically fit guy. I exercise 5-6 times a week of some sort. My abs have all of a sudden lost definition and there seems to be a bulge just above my belly button that goes up to my ribs. (gets thinner as it goes up) its dead center between my abs. Also I have what seems to be a beer gut and lower back pain. I have done a ton of research but im still not sure if what I have is a Diastasis. reason being when I lay down on my back and do the finger technique to feel the gap, the gap doesn’t seem to be where the lump is. I can feel the gap (about 2 fingers) around my belly button and below it. Above seems to feel normal, but that’s where my bulge is. I am using the bathroom regularly, no blood, no pain. I am thinking of going to the doctors but would first like to get an experts opinion.

  • I’ve noticed for many many years when I do situps or serious ab workouts I have the ridge on my stomach it looks like a spine coming out of my stomach when I strain my abdominal muscles. If this has been a problem for years can it be corrected by exercise only.  Can it be confirmed by a doctor what it is??

  • Hello! Thank you so much for this video! Tried the workouts today and felt great engagement. I spent some time doing intense ab workouts that I shouldn’t have and have stopped them and am focusing on repairing now.

    My question is I feel like my right side is much stronger than my left. Should I do more exercises on the left side to compensate?

  • Can an appendectomy cause this condition? I ended up with an umbilical hernia as a result of an emergency laproscopic appendectomy. I had it for about 6 months before it popped out and I had to get ER surgery (surgery #2). Now it’s about 4 months later and I’m getting a little squishy puff above my belly button AGAIN, but with no pain. I’m curious if the hernia has relapsed or if it’s just diastasis recti and can be fixed without surgery! I don’t want any more surgeries!!

  • Hello, it looks like I may be the only guy on this comment section. I have DR. 10 years ago I was exposed to some nasty mold and contracted a chronic cough that lasted for about two years. Every cough made
    My mid section feel like it was coming apart. Later I found out I had this deformed midsection when I did some sit-ups. I was afraid to go any further because I didn’t want to exasperate my problem. Don’t want to sound like a typical guy but will this work for me and how long before I start seeing results? A part of me wants to start doing planks and sit-ups right away. It’s quite frustrating for me.

  • Hi! I am 14 weeks pregnancy with my second baby and I was diagnosed with this. I have actually had this undiagnosed since my first. Is there anything I can do now while I’m 14 weeks pregnant to help/prevent any further separation? My OB is planning on putting me into PT after my baby is born, but I would love to start working on this now.

  • Hi i have this, my doctor said i can lift weights and go gym, but everything i read about it says not do exercises like crunches & Ab work??

  • Hi Michelle thank you so much for this informative video, had my last baby no.4 in 2018 April, can these exercises still help me, i look pregnant, my stomach is hard when i stand but soft when i lay down i did the test that i watched in your other video i get about 3 to 4 fingers in and i also have spina bifida so i suffer with lower back pains.
    Thank you in advance��❤

  • I really like your videos Michelle, they have good explanation and take things slowly. I have a 15cm diastasis and have been told that my muscles are thin. I plan to start regular exercise to try and improve this but don’t know how much of an improvement I could expect to get. What would your advice be on this please?

  • Great to see women’s health topics. Hope to see more in future reference safe prolapse types exercises too.
    Didn’t know Diastasis also happens to some overweight or men.

  • Hello I had my baby 10 months ago, my baby was 10.4lbs. Know it’s hard to get rid of the pouch and I have been eating good and I even did intermediate fasting, me thinking nothing else doesnt work and it hasn’t worked. Know before this fasting I did sit up jogged and I had to stop this exercises because my pain was in pain my stomach hurt just unbelievable. I cant lay on the floor because it hurts. I came across your video because you explained everything clearly of what can we feel. What can I do?

  • Thank you for the video.. I’ve been wondering why my stomach won’t just go away… didn’t know my muscles was seperated…thanks for all the info

  • Hi Im new to the channel and I was told I would need surgery or it will only get worse I didnt believe him but I look bloated and its painful after I eat I have 3 children last was 1 year ago but this scared me so know I’m all about trying to loose the weight and close the gap!

  • I’m experiencing lower back pain only… Whenever i sit in an odd position sometimes. Other than that i don’t have any problem. And my tummy is not what it used to be.
    I’m new to your channel and i really like it.

  • Thank you so so so so much. My daughter is 3 1/2 and I’m only realizing it’s a problem. Most other programs don’t go through the detail needed to activate the right muscles and keep them activated. Thank you so much for the time you’ve taken to do these videos

  • How do you get your doctors to listen to you? I had a 10lb kid, I’m 5’5” and I had a c-section. It’s played part in my overall deterioration (best word I can find) I’ve tried to seek medical help but it’s like they don’t even hear me. Yet they tell me I have this. I wish I knew about this before I got pregnant.

  • Hi I’m very new. I’m new to the term and your channel.
    My symptoms are what you say and I hv 3 fibriods. Sizes are 3,2and.08.

    I hv changed my diet. I had been doing crunches….but now I’m watching the video you created.

    I’m Doing the challenge of the 3 simple excerises. However, I dont really feel anything….I hope I’m doing it right are time goes on.

  • Hi, thanks for the video. I came to know very recently on this Diastatis recti. I had a mummy pouch as if I am 6 months pregnant that’s the only symptom. Now I am start of with the exercises.

  • Thank you for the great explanation to show how to activate the lower tummy and transverse abdominals correctly. This is one of the best videos I’ve seen for Diastasis Recti Exercises.

  • Hi Michelle, I have a doubt… I delivered by first baby one yr before… it’s c section…. I still have a bulged and stubborn stomach below my chest exactly near upper abdomen… And also while I lie down on my back the stomach is flat… And when I lift my head while lying down… My belly button comes out.. Is it recti diastasis.

  • I had three pregnancy and they all involved c-sections. I pretty much had my kids every close together before having kids I use to work out but while pregnant didn’t and after that found my self very busy with them and getting use to my new life style. Many women got pregnant around me just like me the difference they didn’t have csection and I saw how after having there babies their body went back to normal within 6months to a year but mine didn’t and I would express my concerns to the doctors and the people around me but everybody kept telling me don’t worry it takes time for the body to heal and your young kids so I was like ok. Then I started developing abdomen pain a lot I can even do a sit up still, I have a lot of lower back pain and I have problem using the bathroom in order for me to be able to use it I had to hold my abdomen where it hurts to be able to use it I told this to my doctors and all they did was send me for and ultrasound then repeated that all was fine but it don’t look fine and it don’t feel fine. So I stopped going to the doctors and just let it be but I am 29 years old and never felt or looked worse I love my kids but hate what happened to my body I have zero confidence in this new body I gained after pregnancy. Not to long ago I had some friend tell me I could still change it don’t let this do this to you all you have to do is workout we are pretty sure that will help you so then they being motivating me to workout again so I could start feeling good about my self but in the working out I noticed I couldn’t do sit ups at all I have no abdominal strength no matter how much I being working out for and when I tried to work out my core I totally felt no muscle being worked so I started questioning my self again how am I so young and this is happening and feeling down and uncertain. then I googled what I was feeling and found out that I might or I am pretty sure I have diastasis recti and I need help! It’s being 7 years sense my last pregnancy and I though because I was young that I would look good after pregnancy like many other moms do and that was not the case the more time passes by the more I hate to look at my self I need help fixing my problem or at least making it a little better!

  • Questions: Is this suitable for any age and will it work on a diastisis that happened over 10 yrs. ago and is still present? Also, I had a physical therapist tell me that there was no fixing a diastis and that it was something a person just had to learn to live with; that it would never go away. Is that true?

  • I don’t want to have surgery. I have a 4 finger gap stomach split delivering 4 babies and the last one was a 12 pound baby vaginally this past May 30th. I need help and I need exercises and I don’t want to lose hope. I want it to close and I believe it will. Has anyone on here ever had a significant gap and was able to close it naturally?

  • Thankyou for this video I have a 9.5cm gap so you can imagine how big my bulge is. I had my second child 4 years ago and now I’m desperate to get rid of my big tummy it’s affecting my daddy to day life and I was told only way to get rid of this is surgery. Pls could you help me.

  • Do you have all the symptoms of diastasis recti or just a few? Tell me below! If you are new to my channel be sure to say hi in the comments so I can welcome you to our awesome community:) Here is what to watch next: How to check for diastasis recti: https://youtu.be/1YxnXsfQEVg and How to get rid of diastasis recti with 3 simple exercises: https://youtu.be/sNcmGhLI4Hk

  • im 45 years old and my youngest child is 15years old.. i have been exercising my core with planks and crunches.. nothing happend.. until i saw this video.. im new to this diastasis recti.. maybe i have im not sure.. what shall i do?

  • Hi, I have a question. I have a hiatus hernia and a small ventral hernia. The surgeon my doctor referred me to has said several times that surgery is not needed, as the ventral hernia is still relatively small. I have a large tummy and asked him if core exercises are safe. He said yes, that they would help to strengthen my abdominal muscles and possibly help my hernia. He also mentioned how my abdominal muscles are “weak”, and also said something about the center of abdomen not being “close”. So, would these types of exercises in this video help what I mentioned? He wasn’t specific on what exercises to do, so I’ve been searching on YouTube and came across this. These seem gentle enough.