Following pregnancy, women are often eager to regain their pre-baby bodies through diet and exercise.
However, this is often difficult to achieve for individuals with diastasis recti – a condition that causes left and right abdominal muscles to separate and produce a pooching or doming appearance to the abdomen. It’s particularly noticeable when someone transitions from a reclining to standing position.
If you think that you may suffer from abdominal muscle separation, continue reading to learn all about diastasis recti.
What Is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis recti is a separation of the outermost recti abdominal muscles due to stretching and thinning of the connective collagen layer in the midline of the abdomen. It typically results in a belly bulge, that many women say makes them still look pregnant months after giving birth.
Diastasis recti is clinically diagnosed by an abdominal gap of 2.7 cm or greater between rectus muscles. This is roughly the distance of two finger widths.
Do Just Women Get Diastasis Recti?
While diastasis recti is most common in women that have had one or more pregnancies, and often worsens with each subsequent pregnancy, it can also occur following significant weight fluctuations, improper abdominal training, or surgery.
In fact, strenuous physical activity with incorrect form makes male bodybuilders and professional athletes more susceptible to abdominal muscle separation.
What Are the Symptoms of Diastasis Recti?
Symptoms of diastasis recti are often overlooked or attributed to other medical conditions or issues.
In addition to a bloated and puffy appearance of the abdomen, individuals with abdominal muscle separation often experience physical discomfort in the abdominal area and reduction in core strength.
They may also complain of back and hip pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence, painful intercourse, and constipation and bloating after eating.
How to Treat Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis recti can be treated with an abdominoplasty, which is a surgical procedure that tightens weakened abdominal muscles. While effective, it requires incisions, general anesthesia, and a lengthy recovery.
Emsculpt is a non-surgical alternative for the repair of diastasis recti, which strengthens, firms, and tones abdominal muscles and burns unwanted fat. It is performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office and is completely non-invasive. Best of all, it has zero downtime and has been clinically proven to improve diastasis recti.
To learn more about diastasis recti and treatment options, please call our office today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with Dr. Tina West.