Physiotherapy For Diastasis Recti

Physiotherapy For Diastasis Recti

physiotherapy for diastasis recti

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American Physical Therapy Association believes consumers need to have information available that can help them make informed health care decisions and prepare for visits with their doctor.

The following articles provide some of the best scientific evidence related to physical therapy treatment of diastasis rectus abdominis. Each article provides an overview and reports on recent research. The article titles are linked either to a PubMed* abstract of the article or to free full text so that you can read it or print out a copy to bring with you to your health care provider.

Thabet AA, Alshehri MA. Randomised controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of a core stability training program for diastasisrecti abdominalis in women postpartum. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2019;19(1):62.

Hills NF. Graham RB. McLean L. Comparative trunk muscle function of women with diastasis recti abdominalis and those without it at one year. Phys Ther. 2018;98(10):891-901.

Keshwani NA, Mathur SA, McLean L. Relations between interrectus and severity for women with diastasisrecti-recti abdominis early after birth. Phys Ther. 2018;98(3):182-190.

Kamel DM and Yousif AM. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation and strength recovery of postnatal diastasis recti abdominis muscles. Ann Rehabil Med. 2017;41(3):465.

Benjamin DR, van de Water AT, Peiris CL. An analysis of the systematic effects of exercise on diastasis muscle rectus Abdominis, in the antenatal as well as postnatal periods. Physiotherapy. 2014;100(1):1-8.

What does exercise therapy involve?

It all depends on what your medical condition is, including the degree of abdominal separation.

The corrective exercise will be the most effective first-line approach for smaller separations than four fingers wide. It is common to exercise for two to six weeks or more until your separation is complete.

It is important that corrective exercise include strengthening of the muscles of your inner core, your support muscles. Your inner core comprises the multifidus, diaphragm and transversus abdominus. These muscles are the equivalent to corsets.

The most effective therapeutic target for transversus abdominis muscle strength is likely to be Transversus abdominalis muscle strengthening (ref10).

Fascia connections are strong between the transversus abdominal muscle and therectus abdominus. The strengthening of this muscle could help to draw the two rectus abdominal muscle bellies together, and improve fascial tension (ref8). This allows load to be transferred effectively though the pelvis during lifting or exercise. The strengthening of the transversus Abdominus may be done in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, no consensus has been reached.

Diastasisrecti treatment should not be limited to the physical separation. Retraining of the pelvic floor muscles is another important area of treatment that is often unaddressed. Women who cannot form a proper pelvic floor contraction with a rectus dastasis are at greater risk of experiencing incontinence or prolapse. Also, it is important to examine posture, body mechanics, restricted tissues and joints that could be causing poor movement patterns. Seeking the guidance of a physiotherapist, in particular one with training in pelvic floor physiotherapy, can be beneficial.

In combination with regular exercise, a corset/binder may be recommended to help you achieve larger separations. This is typically worn 24 hours of the day and taken off for bathing and exercises. If you have exhausted all options for exercise and fulfill a variety of other criteria, abdominoplasty may be an option. Although surgery can provide some relief, including for low back pain (ref12), the primary benefit may be aesthetic.

physiotherapy for diastasis recti

What is Physiotherapy to Treat Diastasis Recti?

For most Singaporeans, physiotherapy is still a relatively recent concept. Most Singaporeans don’t fully know the meaning and purpose of physiotherapy. Physiotherapy refers to the study and treatment of the musculoskeletal system. This includes muscles, bones joints ligaments and tendon. The goal of physiotherapy is to relieve pain, improve mobility and restore full physical function. Our clients will be able to return to their previous levels of activity. Others may be able achieve a higher treatment goal than they have previously been able. Each person’s needs and condition is unique to physiotherapy. Your therapist will need to be fully informed about your conditions and treatment goals.

For instance, a running enthusiast who was only able to run 5km before feeling pain in his knee may seek physiotherapy treatment to resolve the root cause of the knee pain. His goal might be to run a marathon of 21 km without experiencing any knee pain. Based on the goals of our clients, our physiotherapists create a treatment plan that will help them reach their goal.

Depending on the severity of your diastasis recti, you may be experiencing some accompanying problems such as incontinence or back pain. These symptoms can also be treated with physiotherapy.

How can Physiotherapy help with diastasis recti?

Diastasis Recti musculoskeletal condition that can often by resolved by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy treatment does not involve medicine such as painkillers – instead, treatment methods involve manual therapy and exercise therapy. It could take the form of strengthening exercises, muscle releases or stretches. If you have diastasisrecti, your physiotherapist might recommend core strengthening exercise that is diastasisrecti-friendly and appropriate for postpartum women.

Your therapist will recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for you based on your diagnosis. Following are the key objectives of physiotherapy treatment for diastasisrecti:

Determining The Severity Of Your Condition

The first step in a successful, effective recovery process is establishing a diagnosis. Because this is the foundation for any future treatment, accurate diagnosis is vital. Core Concepts understands that it is important to treat the root cause of any symptoms. Our physiotherapists are attentive to the details of each patient before recommending a treatment.

Diastasisrecti can be caused by diastasis abdominus, a separate rectus. Thus, the main focus will be on strengthening your core muscles. Your growing belly can lead to weak core muscles, which could cause separation. This is especially true if you’ve had multiple babies or if the baby is extremely heavy.

By assessing your condition and then creating an appropriate treatment plan, physiotherapy can assist you in strengthening your core muscles.

Diastasis Recti may cause pelvic floor instability because of weak abdominal muscles. Incontinence can be caused by pelvic floor instability, which may lead to incontinence. Our team can assist you in strengthening your pelvic muscles, so these problems do not happen again.

physiotherapy for diastasis recti


It was designed to explore whether two physiotherapy intervention for managing diastasisrecti abdominalis (DrAs) were possible. The RCT design involved comparing the effectiveness of abdominal binding (or exercise therapy) and no intervention (RCT). This study included thirty-two pregnant women who had DrA and their treatment options. Feasibility was assessed based upon study participation, compliance, attrition and rate calculations, along with the calculation of the treatment impact sizes for each intervention. It included the measurement of interrectus distance, ultrasound body image and pain as well as function and trunk flexion strength. There were >50% intervention adherence and a 16% attrition rate. Positive effects on body image (Cohen’s D (d) = 0.2-0.5) were seen after 6 months in the combination therapy and abdominal binding groups. One positive effect on trunk mobility (d=0.7) was found in combination therapy. It is possible to conduct a clinical trial with these interventions, however further investigations are recommended.

Keywords Physiotherapy; abdomen muscles; body images; diastasisrecti and pregnancy.

8/ It Takes Time…

Consistency is key. Set realistic goals to meet your daily life and lifestyle will help you make a positive postnatal recovery. Don’t wait to tackle your diastasis needs.

Note: There’s no magic to exercise. It is important to find an exercise that creates the optimal tension in the linea alba, without any side effects.

We can provide specialised advice and treatment to help your Diastasis Recti recovery. Please email us, or Whatsapp on 97807274.

Our website also contains information about the conditions that we treat in physiotherapy for women and ways we can assist you.

physiotherapy for diastasis recti


Background: Diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle (DRAM) is common during and after pregnancy, and has been related to lumbopelvic instability and pelvic floor weakness. Women with DRAM are commonly referred to physiotherapists for conservative management, but little is known about the effectiveness of such strategies.


Data sources searched: EMBASE.

Study selection/eligibility: Studies of all designs that included any non-surgical interventions to manage DRAM during the ante- and postnatal periods were included.

Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Methodological quality was assessed using a modified Downs and Black checklist. Meta-analysis was performed using a fixed effects model to calculate risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) where appropriate.

Results: Eight studies totalling 336 women during the ante- and/or postnatal period were included. From a case study to randomized controlled trials, the study design varied. Each intervention included some type of exercise that primarily targeted core strengthening and abdominal/core strength. Exercising during the antenatal phase reduced DRAM levels by 35%, (95% CI 0.46 to 0.92). This evidence suggested that DRAM may shrink if you exercise during the postnatal period.


Conclusions and implications

Keywords: Absdominal muscles, Diastasisrecti and weakness in the linea alba; exercise; postnatal care; pregnant women.

Copyright (c), 2013 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Publication by Elsevier Ltd.

What can I do to fix it?

Any program that aims at fixing abdominal separation by offering a series of exercises targeted at the abdominals is missing the mark. Moving beyond trying to’spot decrease’ or doing just endless ab work is not the way to go. Diastasis can be treated by a holistic approach. Getting your whole system working and functioning in a more optimal way will have a far greater impact on your core, and your whole body health. To understand the whole body, you need to consider: your alignment, breath, pelvic floor function, foundational Core strength, past injuries and muscle imbalances that are unique to you as well as any forces caused by everyday movements.

One more thing as food for thought: your diastasis recti may not actually be the primary problem. You may have another issue. It is possible that the only way to get the best long-term results for your body is to continue treating symptoms.

It may seem overwhelming, or a little daunting. Where do you start? These factors can make it difficult to determine which one applies to you. It takes a little detective work to determine which factors apply. That’s why a diastasisrecti physiotherapist will be a great help. A physiotherapist will assess you and determine where to start, based on your individual body. You won’t be getting a one-size fits all approach. This will enable you to concentrate your efforts and achieve optimal results.

You can talk with your doctor to discuss diastasisrecti. A physiotherapist will be able to assist you in optimizing your core function and taking steps to prevent diastasisrecti if you are pregnant. You should consult your physiotherapist if you have already had your child. Taking the time to learn how to restore your body is invaluable. This will prevent future issues and increase your body’s awareness, so you can return to doing what you love and be active again.

.Physiotherapy For Diastasis Recti


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Chiropractor in Ottawa
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Address 563 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa, ON K1R 5P2, Canada
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Category Physiotherapy Ottawa

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