Diastasis Recti Self-Check
If you have ever suffered from belly fat that just won’t go away, no matter how much exercise you do and how healthy that you eat, read on. Sometimes, you may just be taking a while to burn off excess fat. Other times, there could be an underlying issue preventing your efforts from working.
Belly pooch? Muffin top? Mummy tummy? There are so many names people have come up with, but the condition is real. And it can also affect men or women who have never had any children. The condition that I am referring to is called Diastasis Recti Abdominis, also known as Diastasis Recti.
Now that we recognize the name for it, let’s find out what it is and how to check and see if you do in fact have this condition. Also, ways you can help to repair it and avoid making the ab separation even worse.
What is Diastasis Recti?
In medical terms, Diastasis Recti is the separation between the two bellies of the rectus abdominis at the linea alba. So, it’s basically your inner ab muscles separating from each other. Some women notice it early on, some don’t even realize they’ve been suffering from the condition for years!
Not many people (including healthcare providers) address the issue or possibility of having diastasis recti. Checking yourself is especially useful. I have had four children, and I have never heard a doctor mention this term, let alone check to see if I have it.
This condition occurs in many women during pregnancy and after delivery. However, it can also occur in men, women who have never had children before, and even in children. The main cause of diastasis recti for men or women who haven’t had children is if they have been obese or if they were training or doing workouts incorrectly. The good news is that in most cases, diastasis recti can be fixed without surgery.
How to Check
Here is a simple way to perform a diastasis recti self-check:
*Lie on your back with your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor
*Place one hand behind your head, and the other hand on your abdomen
*Slightly lift your head and neck off the floor
*Press down on the abdomen with two fingers as you lift your head. Starting an inch or so above the belly button, at the belly button, then an inch or so below the belly button. Be sure to keep your head up and not downward while checking.
Note where your separations are and how large. If you have a finger gap of one finger or less, that is quite normal. Anything with two or more fingers indicates you have diastasis recti. Larger splits (four fingers or more) between the abdominal warrant a visit with a doctor or physician. The very large splits are not too common. Many cases of diastasis repair themselves with the help of the right workouts.
Once you have completed the diastasis recti self-check, you’ll be on the way to figuring out what exactly you need to do to fix it. If you do the self-check and there is little to no separation, congratulations you don’t have this condition. Not sure how to do the test properly or doubt the results? Set up an appointment and have a trained professional take a look. This will take out any doubt and they will be able to offer tailored solutions.
How to Repair Diastasis Recti
There are several home exercises that can assist in the healing of the diastasis recti. If you discover that you have the condition after a diastasis recti test, there are also many exercises that can make this condition worse. With repairing diastasis recti, one of the most important functions of the exercises is posture and alignment.
Abdominal separation is resolved when either your muscles have pulled back together to less than two finger widths. Or when you can feel that your midline has become strong and flexible. Once you reach this point, you will no longer feel a hole anywhere in your abdomen.
It’s important to keep in mind that diastasis recti don’t just affect women who have given birth. You can also develop the condition if you gain a lot of weight, or if you lift weights that are too heavy. Those things will split your abdominals, causing the diastasis recti to occur.
Luckily, it’s rare to have diastasis so badly that it requires surgery to repair. In many cases, the ab walls join back together by themselves. When your abs don’t join back on their own, there are specific workouts that you can do to help to repair them. There are also certain exercises that you will want to avoid, as to not make the diastasis even worse.
Diastasis recti should be more well-known and talked about, especially at prenatal and postnatal appointments and checkups. It’s so important to know what’s going on with your body. If you were suffering from this condition and did not know, you could start a new workout routine that could make it so much worse.
Keep this article in a handy file if you plan to get pregnant in the near future. Pregnancy increases the chances of developing diastasis recti.