Here are some evidence-based strategies to address diastasis recti and promote pelvic floor health:
1. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy:
– Working with a pelvic floor therapist
can be immensely beneficial. They can assess the severity of diastasis recti, develop a personalized treatment plan, and guide you through exercises that promote healing.
2. Gradual Progression of Exercises:
– Gradual, controlled exercise is key. Focus on core and pelvic floor strengthening, and slowly progress to more advanced core exercises while maintaining good control.
3. Breath and Alignment:
– Incorporate diaphragmatic breathing into your daily routine, especially tuning into getting your ribs down and in when you exhale – which can make it difficult to reduce separation if your ribs are always flaring. These practices support core and pelvic floor engagement.
4. Specific Exercises:
– It’s important to progress beyond things like pelvic tilts and deadbugs, because your daily demands are much higher and your programming should eventually reflect that.
5. Lifestyle and Nutrition:
– Pay attention to your nutrition and hydration, as these factors can influence tissue healing. Adequate protein intake is essential for tissue repair.
Myth 4: Crunches Are the Best Way to Fix Diastasis Recti
The Truth: Traditional crunches can sometimes exacerbate diastasis recti, mostly due to poor muscle recruitment when doing them. If you’re noticing a bulging out through that separation when doing crunches, it’s a sign that you’re not managing intra-abdominal pressure well and we either need to re-teach how to contract your abdominals during a crunch – or modify the movement for now until you can build back into it.
Myth 5: Results Are Immediate
The Truth: Diastasis recti recovery takes time, and results vary from person to person. Consistency and patience are key.
But what we often find is that people are told to just wait and be patient, with no actual plan to create results. And just waiting around doing nothing, or not learning the most optimal movements to be doing for healing, is not going to help speed things along – and you may be dealing with it for much longer than if you had more education and a plan to follow.
So yes, have patience. BUT ALSO make sure you have a plan.
The Role of Prevention and Education
Preventing extreme cases of diastasis recti or managing it during pregnancy can be incredibly beneficial. Educating pregnant individuals about their changing bodies, the importance of proper posture, and the role of pelvic floor therapy is a proactive approach.
Myth 6: Nothing Can Be Done During Pregnancy
The Truth: There’s a lot that can be done during pregnancy to promote abdominal and pelvic floor health. The goal is not to PREVENT diastasis recti from happening at all, but rather to maintain good tissue integrity, mechanics, and strength as much as we can to set you up for a more optimal postpartum recovery. Pelvic floor therapy and specific exercises can help.
Empowering Through Knowledge
Diastasis recti is a natural part of many pregnancies, and it doesn’t have to be feared. With the right approach, it can be managed effectively. As pelvic floor therapists, we’re here to support your journey to a strong and healthy core.
You should not be afraid to work your core during pregnancy, as this is not the cause of diastasis recti. But there may be core exercises that are more optimal for YOU at certain stages during pregnancy. There is no one size fits all approach, and there are no specific timelines of when you need to stop doing a specific exercise. Having a pelvic floor therapist on your team who is trained well in high level fitness will be helpful for you to navigate these decisions confidently.
Remember, the road to recovery involves patience and a personalized plan tailored to your unique needs. Reach out to one of our pelvic floor therapists for guidance, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier pelvic floor and a stronger core!