The partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis that is the six-pack muscles is known as diastasis recti. The Rectus abdominis meets at the midline of the stomach. Diastasis recti are common in pregnancy because to accommodate the growing fetus, the uterus stretches the abdomen muscles.
However, this condition is not only experienced by pregnant women but it can affect anyone, men and even newborn babies. Performing excessive or unsafe abdominal exercise or lifting weight the wrong way can lead to diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti can be caused due to elevated intra-abdominal pressure. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles stretch which causes the connective tissues to become thin. These tissues are being relaxed by the pregnancy hormones relaxin, estrogen, and progesterone. A partial or complete separation occurs when this process continues.
Apart from pregnant women, diastasis recti can also occur in postpartum and postmenopausal women and men. In such cases, it is caused by strain, rapid shifts in body weight, crunches, and heavy lifting.
When women experience diastasis recti during pregnancy their core weakens which leads to back or pelvic pain. As a result, it is essential to wear a binder or Tubigrip during the day for support.
Also, it is necessary to avoid heavy lifting or any activities that cause straining of your abdominal muscles. Maintain a good posture and ensure to support your lower back with a pillow while sitting. When getting out of the bed or standing up, bend your knees or use your arms for support.
For the postpartum treatment, pelvic floor and deep stomach muscles exercise work.
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