[UPDATED 2020] Umbilical Hernia……A Side Effect of Diastasis Recti | TUPLER TECHNIQUE®
What is an Umbilical Hernia?
An umbilical hernia is a medical condition with an abnormal swelling or bulge that can be visible or felt at the belly button. Some hernias occur when the belly button is usually popping outwards or what is called an umbilicus belly button. This type of hernia occurs when part of your intestine sticks out through the opening in your abdominal muscles through which your umbilical cord passes before you were born. An opening in your abdominal muscles or abdominal walls is a diastasis recti. Umbilical hernias are common and typically harmless.
Hernia in Children
Umbilical hernias in infants are most common. Although developing an umbilical hernia is common among infants, adults are also at risk of developing this as well especially with multiple pregnancies, obesity, or previous abdominal surgeries are mong the risk factors . They only need to be surgically repaired if complications occur. If there is tenderness, swelling or discoloration around the belly button you need to see a doctor ASAP! Complications can occur when the swelling or bulge in the abdominal tissue becomes trapped or an incarcerated hernia and can no longer be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. An incarcerated hernia reduces the blood supply to the section of trapped intestine and can lead to umbilical pain and tissue damage. If the trapped portion of the intestine is completely cut off from the blood supply (strangulated hernia), tissue death (gangrene) may occur. Infection may spread throughout the abdominal cavity, causing a life-threatening situation.
Hernia causes: Diastasis Alert
Your umbilical hernia is a side effect of diastasis recti (separation of the outermost abdominal muscles). This is how umbilical hernia occurs. When your muscles separate the connective tissue (linea alba) joining these muscles stretch sideways and become thinner and weaker. This is the weak spot . The outermost muscles (called rectus abdominis), need to be close together to do their job of supporting your back and organs. When they are separated it is the weak connective tissue ineffectively supporting your back and organs. That is why you have an outie belly button with an umbilical hernia. Umbilical hernias are common with pregnant and postpartum women and also with people who are overweight.
Non-surgical Umbilical Hernia Repair
If you are not having any of the complications mentioned above, surgery is not necessary! In umbilical hernia repair you can reverse your umbilical hernia by strengthening your connective tissue. If you are going to have surgery for your umbilical hernia and have a couple of weeks to prepare for it, making your diastasis smaller before abdominal surgery will make it more successful. By strengthening your connective tissue, it will hold the stitches better and knowing how to use your strengthened abdominal muscles during your recovery will keep the stitches from coming undone. A physical examination done by a medical professional is neccessary to determnine that you qualify for a non-surgical option, so go to a medical center near you and get medical advice to be sure .
Closing a diastasis recti is all about healing your connective tissue. When you heal your connective tissue with the evidenced and research-based Tupler Technique® Program, you bring support to your belly button. You will see your belly button go from an outie to an innie! You will also get a flatter belly because your muscles (not connective tissue) will be supporting your organs.
Healing connective tissue is not an overnight process. This program takes time, effort and a commitment to doing all 4 steps of the program.
HOW DOES THE TUPLER TECHNIQUE® CLOSE A DIASTASIS?
Re-positioning both your connective tissue and muscles.
Connective tissue: Taking the stretch off your stretched out connective tissue will support the healing of it. Continuously wearing the Diastasis Rehab Splint® will put it in a narrow position. Imagine it going from a piece of saran wrap to a piece of rope. The splint serves the same function as a cast when you break your arm or leg. To continuously keep the two ends of each bone together so they will heal. Unlike a cast, the splint will NOT weaken the walls of the abdomen as you will be doing lots of Tupler Technique® exercises to strengthen the weak spot in your abdominal muscles. The Together Tape (started in Week 4 of the program after preparing the skin with the Corrective Connective Tissue Cream) serves the same function. The recoiling of the tape after stretched is a communication from the skin to the connective tissue and muscles to move closer together.
Muscles: Your muscles need to be close together to move in the right direction when doing the Tupler Technique® seated exercises. This is a front to back movement. This front to back movement is shortening or strengthening your outermost abdominal muscles. If the muscles are separated 4 fingers apart or more, they will move in a sideways direction. This not only does not strengthen your muscles, but it stretches your connective tissue when it moves sideways. It is thus important to have your muscles close together when doing the seated exercises.
Protecting your connective tissue from getting stretched either in a sideways or forwards direction. That is why for the first six weeks of the program you should not do any sporting activities or exercise classes or workouts. You can still do cardio exercises like walking outside, walking on an incline on a treadmill, upright stationary bike or the elliptical machine. No running or jumping. During the first six- weeks, you need to allow your connective tissue to heal as you strengthen your transverse muscle while developing transverse muscle awareness with activities of daily living. Then in week six of the program, you will learn how to incorporate the Tupler Technique® Program into your exercise routine as well as modify it so it is diastasis safe. This way you will maintain all the gains you have made in the first six weeks!
Strengthen your transverse muscle and the connective tissue with the Tupler Technique® exercises. If you decide to go the surgery route for whatever reason, it is still important to do this program to “prepare” for the surgery. This program will strengthen your abdominal muscles before a hernia repair surgery , teach you how to use them correctly and prepare you for the activities you will be doing during the recovery process. As a result, you will be able to maintain the integrity of your sutures.
related topics: Watch this video I made where I talk about an Outie Belly Button/umbilical hernia and Diastasis Recti
So the bottom line is….you have nothing to lose by doing the Tupler Technique® Program. Chances are if you are really diligent about doing this program you will close your diastasis and fix your umbilical hernia. If not, you will have a better outcome for your surgery.
The longer you wait to close your diastasis, the worse it gets. Register now and be amazed at how the program will help you transform your belly and belly button.