Diastasis Rectus Abdominis

What Is Diastasis Rectus Abdominis?

Diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA), also known as abdominal separation, is a common condition for women when they are pregnant and the following years after childbirth. As your uterus expands and the fetus grows the abdominal stretches and creates a gap between the left and right rectus abdominis. DRA usually develops in the second and third trimester when the fetus is growing more rapidly.

What Are The Causes Of Abdominal Separation?

The most common cause is pregnancy which can lead to stretching of the linea alba, a connective tissue sheath.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti is not painful, however, it can lead to a lack of core strength, which can lead to compensatory pelvic floor muscle spasm and or undo stress in the low back, hips and SI joints.

What Are The Risk Factors Of DRA?

The more common risk factors include:

  • maternal age over 35
  • high birth weight of the child
  • multiple birth pregnancies, and multiple pregnancies

What Are The Possible Treatments For Diastasis Recti?

There is no real data on prevention, however we suggest anyone considering trying to get pregnant to come to use and have an evaluation for core strength and pelvic floor function. Optimizing these prior  to pregnancy in theory would help patients support their abdominal musculature during pregnancy.

Can Diastasis Recti Heal On Its Own?

Healing without any exercise or treatment is unlikely. A proper physical therapy program possibly with pelvic floor treatment is highly recommended. If the methods fail, there are surgical options.

Are There Exercises To Help DRA?

While there are certainly non-invasive treatments and protocols that can help treat abdominal separation they are specific to each patient. It is important to undergo an evaluation with a pelvic floor specialist if you have or believe you have abdominal separation. 

What Is The “2 Finger” or “3 Finger” Measure Used For?

The popular “2 Finger” or ” 3 Finger” method is a rough accepted measurement of a patient’s baseline. It can help measure the progress of the right and left stomach muscles coming together.

What Is The Timeline After Pregnancy To Seek Additional Care?

8 weeks is considered the standard timeline of pain for a  vaginal delivery. For a C Section birth, the standard timeline is closer to 12 weeks. If symptoms persist after that, such as Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation), pain with intercourse, urinary urgency/frequency, and others please contact one of our offices. 

Meet Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine

At Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine, we treat whole human beings, not symptoms. In the body, everything is connected; and the pelvic region is the vital center of the body’s connected functioning. Our physicians take an innovative approach, combining traditional medicine with holistic modalities and restorative and regenerative medicine. We treat both male and female patients who experience core muscle and nerve problems; chronic pelvic pain; and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Learn More »

Shrikhande A, Ahmed T, Shrikhande G, Hill C. A Novel, Non-Opiod Based Treatment Approach to Men with Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (UCPPS) Using Ultrasound Guided Nerve Hydrodissection and Pelvic Floor Musculature Trigger Point Injections. The International Continence Society. 2018 Aug. Link to Article.

Allyson Shrikhande, MD sits as the chair of the Medical Education Committee for the International Pelvic Pain Society. Link to Medical Committee.

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