Back pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be debilitating and greatly impact one's quality of life. However, did you know that there may be a secret connection between back pain and Diastasis Recti?
Many individuals may not realize that their back pain could be linked to a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles, known as Diastasis Recti. This separation can cause weakened support for the back and organs, leading to a range of side effects such as poor posture, abdominal hernias, and pelvic floor problems.
In this article, we will explore the connection between Diastasis Recti and back pain, the effects of Diastasis Recti on the body, and how to properly check for a Diastasis. We will also introduce an evidenced-based exercise program, the Tupler Technique, that can help close separated muscles without surgery.
II. What is Rectus Diastasis?
Rectus Diastasis is a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles, known as the rectus abdominis. This separation occurs when the connective tissue that joins these muscles stretches sideways, causing it to become thinner and weaker. This weakened connective tissue cannot effectively provide support, leading to a range of side effects such as poor posture, abdominal hernias, and pelvic floor problems.
Rectus Diastasis can occur during pregnancy as the growing uterus puts pressure on the abdominal muscles, causing them to stretch and separate. It can also occur during intense physical activity that puts pressure on the abdominal muscles, such as weightlifting or gymnastics.
The effects of Rectus Diastasis on the body can vary, but some common examples include:
A protruding belly or "pooch" that doesn't go away with diet and exercise
Poor posture, which can lead to back pain and other issues
Abdominal hernias, which can be painful and require surgery to repair
Pelvic floor problems, such as incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse
III. What is Back Pain?
Back pain is a common issue that can be caused by a variety of factors, such as muscle strain, injury, or poor posture. It is characterized by discomfort or pain in the back, ranging from mild to severe. Back pain can impact daily life by making it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as lifting objects or sitting for long periods of time.
Many individuals experience back pain at some point in their lives, and it can be a chronic issue for some. It can also be a symptom of other underlying medical conditions, such as arthritis or a herniated disc.
Some examples of how back pain can impact daily life include:
Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
Difficulty performing everyday tasks, such as lifting objects or sitting for long periods of time
Missed work or school due to pain or discomfort
Reduced mobility or range of motion
IV. The Connection Between Rectus Diastasis and Back Pain
Rectus Diastasis and back pain are two conditions that can exacerbate each other. When the abdominal muscles are weakened due to Rectus Diastasis, it can cause an imbalance in the body, leading to poor posture and increased stress on the back muscles. This can result in chronic back pain that can be difficult to treat if the underlying cause is not addressed.
Untreated Rectus Diastasis can lead to chronic back pain. As the abdominal muscles continue to weaken, the back muscles have to work harder to compensate for the lack of support, leading to strain and tension in the back muscles. This can result in chronic pain that can be difficult to manage without addressing the underlying cause.
However, resolving Rectus Diastasis can alleviate back pain. By strengthening the abdominal muscles, the body can regain balance, reducing the stress on the back muscles and alleviating pain.
V. Diagnosis and Treatment
To check yourself for rectus diastasis, follow these steps:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place your fingers above your belly button, with your fingertips pointing towards your feet.
- Feel for a gap or separation in your abdominal muscles. You may feel a gully or a space between the muscles.
- Move your fingers down towards your belly button and repeat the process.
- Move your fingers below your belly button and repeat the process.
- Record the number of fingers that fit in the gap or separation. A gap of two or more finger widths may indicate a rectus diastasis.
The Tupler Technique® program is a research and evidence-based program that has been shown to be effective in treating Rectus Diastasis and reducing back pain. Other treatment options include physical therapy or surgery.
Strategies for preventing Rectus Diastasis and back pain include exercises and lifestyle modifications that can help strengthen the abdominal muscles and reduce stress on the back. During and after pregnancy, exercises and activities such as pelvic tilts, Kegels, and walking can be beneficial. Maintaining a healthy weight and good posture are also important.
Take action by sharing this article and seeking professional medical advice if needed. Resources such as the Tupler Technique® program or healthcare providers who specialize in Diastasis Recti and back pain can be helpful in addressing these conditions.