4 STEPS TO A DIASTASIS FREE BETTER BELLY-PART 2: SPLINTING
(This is the second in a four-part article series.)
When I talk about wearing a splint the key thing is that you make sure to pull the muscles together when you put the splint on, or otherwise it’s not really much good. You can also keep it in place better by wearing it over a fitted shirt, though you can certainly wear it underneath, next to the skin, if you choose.
Sometimes people ask if they can use any kind of scarf or belt as a splint. The answer is no. The same thing goes for any kind of compression garment or torso wrap. This is because the Diastasis Rehab Splint® was developed by medical professionals especially to bring your abdominal muscles and connective tissue closer together and in a better position to heal. Other kinds of abdominal binders DON’T do this. They compress, but they don’t approximate the correct position of your recti muscles. You can find our splints and directions for correctly putting them on at TuplerTechnique.com. Please do make sure you refer to the directions to ensure that you really are putting your recti muscles in the proper position. (There’s no use in wearing a cast if the bones don’t line up!)
The other thing people want to know is what to do if their splint loosens up during the day. Well, readjust it to make it tighter! In fact, you should do this several times a day to keep the splint snug. However, don’t unnecessarily undo and redo the Velcro tabs repeatedly, because this will cause the splint to lose its holding power.
For optimal approximation, remember to use TogetherTape® under your splint. If you have a diastasis, TogetherTape® should not be used alone, however. It adds to the effectiveness of the splint, but it is not a substitute for it.
If I ever needed further confirmation that wearing a splint actually works, then I got it through the observations of one of my licensees, a medical professional in an ob/gyn practice. While using ultrasound on a pregnant patient with a very wide diastasis, she noticed something startling on the monitor. When the patient brought her transverse muscle in, her connective tissue as viewed from within her body actually stretched sideways. Yes, the diastasis got worse by pulling the muscle in. When I first heard this report, my first thought was, Houston, we have a problem.
Why was this happening? When I thought about it and the anatomy of someone with a really wide muscle separation, it occurred to me that in these extreme cases, the muscles of the back, which are connected to the transverse, can pull the connective tissue further out to the sides. This is not the case, however, with a more-typical diastasis, which is only a few fingers wide.
My next urgent question was: What would be seen on the ultrasound if the patient were wearing a splint? I asked my licensee to investigate. Not to be overly dramatic about it, but in a nutshell, over twenty years of my life’s work was riding on the answer. All this time I was sure that my transverse was my best friend, and suddenly it was calling my research into question. Because I had seen such drastic results in my clients from wearing the splint, I was pretty certain that the licensee was about to witness a very different scenario when she performed the next ultrasound evaluation. Yet you can imagine how relieved I was when she reported back that yes—the splint certainly did keep the connective tissue from stretching when the patient engaged the transverse.
So the moral of the story is, guys—always wear your splint.
This story, along with numerous reports from licensees about clients having astounding success in healing abdominal separations, has made me realize that the longer I teach the Tupler Technique®, the more I need scientific research to prove the results. As shown with the ultrasound, it’s not just the exercises, but the whole package deal. This being said, a study is currently being conducted using ultrasound to evaluate the effectiveness of my program. I’m looking forward to publishing the results.
To learn more about Diastasis Recti & the Tupler Technique® read this article: DIASTASIS RECTI RESEARCH AND EVIDENCED BASED EXERCISE PROGRAM
To view my programs click this link: Save on Packages
Watch the short video below to know what a diastasis is.