How To Fix Diastasis Recti 3 Years Later
Diastasis recti, also known as abdominal separation, is a common condition that occurs when the abdominal muscles become stretched and weaken. It is most commonly seen in women during and after pregnancy, but it can also occur in men and children. While diastasis recti usually improves within the first year after giving birth, some individuals may still experience lingering separation years later. If you are one of those individuals struggling to fix diastasis recti three years later, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore various methods and techniques to help you heal and strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Understanding Diastasis Recti
Before diving into the strategies to fix the condition, it’s essential to understand what diastasis recti is and why it occurs. During pregnancy, the growing uterus puts pressure on the abdominal wall, causing the connective tissue between the rectus abdominis muscles to stretch. This stretching can lead to the separation of the muscles, resulting in a gap or bulge in the midline of the abdomen.
Diastasis recti can cause various symptoms, including lower back pain, poor posture, urinary incontinence, and difficulty engaging the core muscles. While the condition can resolve naturally within the first year postpartum, some factors, such as multiple pregnancies, genetics, or improper exercise techniques, can contribute to its persistence.
Evaluating Your Diastasis Recti 3 years later
Before starting any treatment or exercise program, it’s crucial to evaluate the severity of your diastasis recti. You can do this at home by following these simple steps:
Step 1: Lie on Your Back
Find a comfortable spot to lie down on your back. You can use a yoga mat or a soft surface.
Step 2: Bend Your Knees
Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Ensure that your knees are facing upwards, creating a 90-degree angle.
Step 3: Locate Your Belly Button
Place your fingers just above your belly button and apply slight pressure to your abdomen.
Step 4: Lift Your Head
Gently lift your head and neck off the ground and feel for any separation or gap between your abdominal muscles.
Step 5: Measure the Gap
Using your fingers, measure the gap between your abdominal muscles. You can note the measurement in centimeters or by the number of finger-widths.
Now that you have evaluated your diastasis recti, let’s move on to the strategies to fix it once and for all.
Strengthening Your Core
One of the most effective ways to close the gap and repair diastasis recti is by strengthening your core muscles. These exercises target the transverse abdominis, obliques, and pelvic floor muscles, promoting better alignment and abdominal stability.
1. Pelvic Tilt
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, engage your pelvic floor muscles and press your lower back against the ground. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat 10-15 times.
2. Leg Slides
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly slide one foot out, straightening the leg while keeping your pelvis stable. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Start with 5-10 repetitions on each leg and gradually increase over time.
3. Dead Bug
Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and legs lifted and bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower one arm behind your head and the opposite leg towards the floor, maintaining a neutral spine. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Aim for 10-12 repetitions on each side.
In addition to these exercises, incorporating Pilates and yoga into your fitness routine can further help strengthen your core muscles and improve overall posture.
Avoiding Aggravating Exercises
While engaging in core-strengthening exercises is essential, it’s equally important to avoid activities and exercises that can exacerbate diastasis recti. These exercises can further strain the weakened abdominal muscles and hinder the healing process.
1. Crunches and Sit-ups
Traditional crunches and sit-ups involve flexing the upper body and put excessive strain on the rectus abdominis, potentially widening the gap between the muscles. Instead, opt for exercises that engage the deeper abdominal muscles while protecting the midline.
Planks can be beneficial for core strength, but if your diastasis recti is still present, it’s best to avoid this exercise. Traditional planks require holding a position that can put tremendous pressure on the abdominal muscles, making it difficult to maintain proper alignment.
3. Heavy Lifting
Lifting heavy weights can strain the abdominal muscles and worsen diastasis recti. If you are dealing with abdominal separation, stick to lighter weights or bodyweight exercises until the gap closes and the muscles strengthen.
Implementing Lifestyle Changes
While exercise plays a significant role in healing diastasis recti, certain lifestyle changes can further support the process and optimize results. Here are some essential tips to consider:
1. Good Posture
Maintaining proper posture throughout the day can alleviate strain on the abdominal muscles and promote healing. Focus on sitting and standing tall with your shoulders back and your core engaged.
2. Engage Your Core During Daily Activities
Simple tasks like lifting a heavy object or carrying groceries can put strain on the core muscles. Before engaging in any such activities, consciously engage your core muscles to provide support and stability.
3. Wear Supportive Clothing
Invest in supportive clothing, such as compression garments or belly wraps, that can provide gentle pressure to the abdominal area and help close the gap.
Diastasis recti may persist even three years after giving birth, but with the right strategies and dedication, it is possible to fix and strengthen the abdominal muscles. Engaging in core-strengthening exercises, avoiding aggravating exercises, and implementing lifestyle changes can all contribute to the healing process. Remember, consistency is key, and it’s important to listen to your body throughout the journey. Consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist for personalized guidance and support.
Q: Can diastasis recti be fixed without surgery?
Yes, in most cases, diastasis recti can be fixed without surgery. It requires a combination of targeted exercises, proper technique, and lifestyle changes to close the gap and strengthen the abdominal muscles.
Q: Can I still exercise with diastasis recti?
Yes, you can exercise with diastasis recti, but it’s essential to choose exercises that do not strain or exacerbate the condition. Avoid crunches, sit-ups, and heavy lifting and focus on core-strengthening exercises that engage the deeper abdominal muscles.
Q: How long does it take to fix diastasis recti?
The time it takes to fix diastasis recti varies from person to person. With consistent effort and the right approach, significant improvement can usually be seen within a few months. It’s important to be patient and persistent throughout the healing process.
Q: Can men and children also have diastasis recti?
While diastasis recti is more commonly seen in women during and after pregnancy, men and children can also experience the condition. It can be caused by factors such as rapid weight gain, improper lifting techniques, or genetic predisposition.