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Diastasis Recti Abdominis

Hello again! Thanks for checking out my blog. My name is Ember Smith, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and I am excited to share my knowledge to empower and educate you. Check back for monthly updates. To get earlier access to our posts, subscribe to our emails.

Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA)?

As mentioned in a previous post, you can check your rib positioning for potential concerns. Your ribs attach at the front of your body and create an angle. If you measure this angle and it is wider than 90 degrees, it may put you at risk for diastasis recti abdominis (DRA or DR).

So what is diastasis recti? Diastisis recti occurs when your rectus abdominis (6 pack muscle) is stretched resulting in a thinning and weakening at the linea alba (the midline of your belly).

An easy way to check if you have diastasis recti is to place your fingers along your midline and measure how many fingers wide the linea alba is when lifting the head off the ground. It should feel like a trampoline and should not sink in. If there is a gap greater than 2 finger-widths, you may have diastasis recti. Diastasis can be present in some positions, such as a plank, but not present in other positions such as lying on your back.

As I’m sure you can imagine, diastasis recti is very common in pregnant and postpartum women with 27% of women experiencing it in their 2nd trimester and 66% of women having it in their 3rd trimester and/or postpartum. Although this typically reverses by 4-8 weeks postpartum, up to 39% of women continue to present with DR at 6 months postpartum. If you’re not seeing this reversal by 8 weeks, you may experience some other issues such as having low back pain, weak core and/or difficulty lifting, and weak pelvic floor. Other common symptoms of diastasis recti include having a visible pouch around the belly button, pelvic or hip pain, and poor trunk posture.

Want to get ahead of this? Come see a Well Balanced PT during pregnancy for preventive measures as well as postpartum to accelerate healing. In the meantime, you can check out Instagram to learn more!

Loving Lately

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I help women who want to stay active, fit, healthy and mobile without medications, injections, imaging or surgery. All sessions are one-on-one, personalized, and holistic to help you feel your best. I want to help people feel good and well balanced.


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