Diastasis recti or abdominal separation is a major reason why a lot of women end up with chronic back pain after pregnancy. According to healthline “One study found that up to 60 percent of women may experience diastasis recti during pregnancy or postpartum”. But an important point to also note is that women may not realise that it’s actually diastasis recti. They may just see it as stubborn fat until they go to see a GP or a Physio who can then diagnose it. So here are a few tips that can set your alarm bells ringing if you notice anything and what to do about it.

What is diastasis recti

Symptoms of diastasis recti

There are certain tell tale signs that can help you suspect diastasis recti. They are:

  • A belly pooch
  • Back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Leakage while coughing/sneezing or laughing
  • Bowel issues like constipation

If you feel that you suffer from any of these even weeks after child birth, please get yourself to a physio or GP immediately!

A simple test to diagnose diastasis recti yourself!

Click here to watch a quick video of the test.

  • Lie on your back with your knee bent
  • Now place one hand behind your head
  • The other hand’s fingers will go over your navel
  • Now lift your head up and feel your belly up and down your navel
  • If your fingers sink into a “gap” in your tummy muscles, it’s very likely you have diastasis recti or abdominal separation

How to treat diastasis recti?

Pilates reformer.3 1

The great news is that it’s treatable! As a Physio, I first diagnose diastasis recti and then show advise on individualised strategies to strengthen core and pelvic floor muscles. Reformer Pilates is a great way to strengthen the core and pelvic floor muscles. However, if you’re also suffering from back pain or pelvic pain then we need to address that first. So I’ll need to work on your back and hip joints to reduce any inflammation and aslo improve the range of movement. Once the pain is under control we can start building the strength up.

If you or anyone you know if suffering from diastasis recti, click on the button below to book an assessment with one of my Physios!