Diastase Recti (aka Mummy Tummy)
During pregnancy the stomach muscles have to separate to allow the baby to grow.
The stomach muscles are attached to the linea alba, a white line of connective tissue running doen the midline of the body from the bottom point of the sternum to the pubic bone.
This is the part of the body that needs to stretch to allow the tummy to get bigger, making it a perfectly normal functional occurance.
About 90% of women will have a diastase after birth & this will recover naturally over the course of a few months.
For 60% of women, this process can be delayed & can cause symptoms ranging from back discomfort, incontinence, bloated feeling after eating, jaw clenching & a bulging tummy.
So how does this happen?
The tummy muscles are actually structured as a corset, their starting point coming from the back, wrapping around the waist & finishing at the linea alba.
The linea alba is comparable to the part of the corset that you can lace up - if this is open, then the support that the corset offers will be reduced.
Objectively & physiologically speaking, this can mean a reduction in intra abdominal pressure, less support for the spine, changes in breathing pattern & changes in pelvic floor function.
How can we help you solve this?
The first thing that we will do is listen to what you tell us, as this will not only help us structure your exercise plan but will also define how we will approach your treatment.
After this, we'll give you a physical examination including functional testing of the joints, ligaments & muscles, we will also perform a test which will let us know if you have a diastase recti.
Once we have a conclusion on your diagnosis we'll sit down to discuss further treatment & how we can structure this for the best possible results.
You'll receive weekly sessions including physiotherapy & exercise therapy plus homework exercises designed to fit into your lifestyle, these will be written down for you in a book which you can take home.
We will expect you to be committed to your exercise program as your active participation is an important factor in the healing proces & restructuring of the linea alba to cose the diastase recti.
How to treat a diastase
There are some who suggest surgery is the only option for closure of a diastase.
This is not the case.
At our workplace, we have achieved significant results by combining Physiotherapy with Pilates as the form of exercise rehabilitation.
Pilates is effective as its focus is on the use of the transverse abdominis, multifidi and pelvic floor muscles, these intrinsic muscles need to collaborate to produce pelvic and spinal stability. This is first achieved by breathing exercises and looking at the amount of tension in the jaw during the exhale. Later on we look at joint tracking in the hip, knee, ankle and foot and correct any compensatory movement patterns in these areas.
After seeing positive patient outcomes, we have decided to create a structured program combining our work disciplines.
The good news is that you will be able to submit your invoice to your insurance company & receive partial or full reimbursement depending on your insurance coverage.