5 Little-Known Facts About Rectus Diastasis Recovery!
Common diastasis recti symptoms aka "Mummy Tummy" and how to perform a diastasis recti test on yourself
If your answer is YES to the questions below, then you should probably read on.
Have you had a baby?
Do you feel that your body is not normal like it is below 100% somehow? To a point where you find it difficult to even lift your baby up? Still looking pregnant long after giving birth? Or can’t help peeing a little bit when you sneeze?
Yes? Then you are most likely suffering from diastasis recti. The ones mentioned are just a few of the symptoms that a large majority of pregnant women and mommies are suffering from.
Diastasis Recti Abdominis or DRA, it is the condition that pregnant or postpartum moms generally don’t get to know about until it gets in the way of doing your job as a mom.
Go on reading and find out what DRA is, what the rest of its symptoms are and best of all learn about a proven treatment that can relieve your suffering before it’s too late.
What the Heck Is Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA)?
The term diastasis means separation. Diastasis recti are the separation of the outmost abdominal muscles or rectus abdominis. What happens is that the connective tissue that binds the muscles together is stretched sideways causing the separation.
Diastasis recti is very common among pregnant and postpartum women. This is because the growing baby in the uterus stretches the muscles and connective tissue in the abdomen.
The muscles can stretch though without separating.
Did you also know that a large diastasis during pregnancy can put a pregnant woman at risk for a C-section?
From what I have read, diastasis recti abdominis or DRA is a condition that more than ⅔ of pregnant and postpartum women suffer from. However, in my experience working with thousands of pregnant women and new moms, it even goes as high as 98%. It goes largely ignored and dismissed as a minor cosmetic condition by the mainstream medical community.
If you think the condition is limited to women, you would be sorely mistaken. The condition can affect any person and that includes men and children and women who have not had a baby. Among men, it is usually caused by improperly lifting heavy weights or improper and excessive abdominal workouts. Children can get it from doing activities like gymnastics. Click here to read about FAQs about DRA.
What are the common DRA symptoms?
The most common and immediately noticeable symptom of a severe diastasis is an unusual bulging belly, especially when you contract the muscles in the abdominal area.
Symptoms may also include a protruding or outie belly button. It may not yet be obvious during the onset of pregnancy as your abdominal muscles start to separate when your belly gradually expands and gives room for the baby to grow in the uterus. But during the later weeks of your pregnancy, you will begin to notice a bulge either above or below your belly button.
The bulge is most noticeable when you use your ab muscles in trying to sit or stand up, or lie down. For postpartum women, it’s usually that continuing pregnant look months after giving birth.
How to properly perform a DRA test on yourself?
It is very important to correctly perform the procedure of measuring DRA. Most people check their diastasis in the wrong way and end up thinking that it's a lot smaller than it really is.
Watch this instructional video and learn how to properly do a DRA test yourself:
Is it important to treat DRA? Can I just ignore it?
Yes, you can certainly try to ignore it. However, you will run the danger of making it worse as time passes. The larger your diastasis becomes the more you are at risk with the side effects and the longer it will take to close it. Not to mention the more expensive it will become to treat it.
When you value the important people in your life like your family, you want your body to be able to function properly. DRA diminishes your ability to be a fully dependable mom, able to cope with the rigors of motherhood and you know how that can be tough, right?
DRA weakens your core which is necessary to: a) properly hold up your upper body and b) contain the organs in your belly and prevent them from bulging out. DRA complications include:
- Vulnerable trunk stability and reduced mobility
- Lower back pain
- Pelvic pain
- Poor posture
- Pelvic floor issues
- And even umbilical hernia
Some women have had DRA and are not aware of this until years later due to gastrointestinal issues like bloating after eating and constipation and back pain. Needlessly dealing with so much discomfort for years not knowing what the cause was.
With the condition, you may find it hard to, for example, carry your baby for slightly extended periods of time in many cases. The back issues it causes alone are really quite serious.
What’s the Best Proven Treatment for Diastasis Recti?
Tupler Technique®: Treatment & Prevention of DRA
How does the Tupler Technique® treat diastasis recti?
Healing the connective tissue and strengthening the abdominal muscles in the proper way. An important part of the success of the technique is the precise re-positioning of the separated muscles and connective tissues that binds the abdominal muscles together. This is the role of the Diastasis Rehab Splint®. By relieving the tension placed on the connective tissue, it is put in the best position to begin healing and regain its elasticity. Kind of like using a cast to bring the parts of a broken bone together so that it may heal.
Watch the Tupler Technique® being featured in FOX4
Unlike the cast which partially weakens the bone, the splint will not weaken your ab muscles because the Diastasis Rehab Splint® is used together with a regimen of Tupler Technique® exercises.
Also, the muscles have to be repositioned with the Diastasis Rehab Splint® to be close together so they move in the right direction when doing the exercises. If they are separated they move sideways. A sideways movement both stretches the connective tissue and does not strengthen the abdominal muscles.
However, wearing the splint is NOT ENOUGH TO CLOSE YOUR DIASTASIS. Follow the four-step TUPLER TECHNIQUE®.
- Tupler Technique® exercises (Elevator, Contracting and optional Head lifts) If you do just the seated exercises you will be just as successful with the program.
- Wearing a Diastasis Rehab Splint® (in Week 4, we double splint, which is wearing a splint and holding another splint (scarf) while doing the exercises)
- Developing transverse awareness with activities of daily living
- Getting up and down correctly
The program progresses over 18 weeks. During the first six weeks it is important to develop transverse strength and awareness with activities of daily living. Then in week six it is important to do a diastasis safe exercise routine. This will maintain the gains that have been made in closing your diastasis.
The program teaches how to incorporate the Tupler Technique® into an exercise routine so that the abdominal muscles are used with every repetition of every exercise.
Protecting the connective tissue from getting stretched in a forwards or sideways direction is very important especially when doing the exercises or any physical activities.
Besides training medical and fitness professionals the Tupler Technique® Program, I also work with clients both individually (in person or via Skype) or you can also opt to join my monthly live webinar where I can answer your questions directly. This webinar is part of my ongoing online support program for your recovery.
If you’re the face-to-face type, you can attend the Everybelly® seminar held three times a year in New York City.