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A bit more about Abdominal Separation

Diastasis Recti

A Diastasis Recti is abdominal separation. The word 'diastasis' means separation and the 'recti' muscles are the outermost abdominal muscles. So, it is a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles.

When the muscles separate the connective tissue (linea alba) joining these muscles stretch sideways. The job of these muscles (called rectus abdominis), is to support your back and your organs. This is an issue because separated muscles are weak and cannot do their job of supporting your back and organs. To have a strong core, your muscles must be close together. The sideways stretching of the connective tissue causes it to become thinner and weaker meaning it cannot effectively support your belly button, back and organs.

Diastasis Recti

A Diastasis Recti is abdominal separation. The word 'diastasis' means separation and the 'recti' muscles are the outermost abdominal muscles. So, it is a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles.

When the muscles separate the connective tissue (linea alba) joining these muscles stretch sideways. The job of these muscles (called rectus abdominis), is to support your back and your organs. This is an issue because separated muscles are weak and cannot do their job of supporting your back and organs. To have a strong core, your muscles must be close together. The sideways stretching of the connective tissue causes it to become thinner and weaker meaning it cannot effectively support your belly button, back and organs.

What Is & How To Find If You Have A Diastasis Recti

Who can get a diastasis?

Everyone can get a diastasis. But it is more likely in: 

Women who have been pregnant
Women or men who have lost weight
Women or men have experienced abdominal surgery
Children can also have a diastasis. 

Many people have it but it is not picked up because checking for a diastasis is not part of any medical or fitness evaluation.

What causes a diastasis?

A diastasis is caused by continuous stretching in both a forward and sideways direction of the connective tissue that joins the outermost muscles. This stretching is caused by pregnancy, weight gain in the abdominal area, abdominal surgery where they fill the abdominal cavity with air, exercises like crunches and Pilates 100, activities where you arch your back like gymnastics and swimming which flare your ribs, and crossover activities like tennis and golf.

What are some signs of a diastasis?

Signs of a diastasis are a bulging belly, an outie belly button, a half football bulge when bringing the shoulders off the floor, a belly that gets bigger after eating and at the end of the day.

At what age can I get a diastasis?

Everyone is born with their muscles separated! Usually, the muscles come together when we are three years old after our nervous system has developed. But this does not happen for everyone.  Because our belly button is a weak spot in the connective tissue, even if the muscles do come together, there is always the risk that they may come apart again with continuous stretching of the connective tissue. 

Why is my belly button an outie?

Right smack in the middle of the connective tissue is your belly button which is a weak spot in the connective tissue.  When the connective tissue stretches sideways and becomes thinner and weaker, your belly button loses its support and then becomes an outie. An outie belly button puts you at risk for an umbilical hernia. When you strengthen the connective tissue with this program your belly button will go back in.

When I check myself for a diastasis
what am I checking for?

When you check for a diastasis you are checking for two things. The first is the “distance” between the two muscles. You want to see how many fingers fit between
the two separated muscles. If you have a protruding belly button, feel a pulsing or have the half-football like bulge you will need to use two hands. The second thing is the “condition” of the connective tissue. The deeper your fingers go, the weaker the connective tissue. The pulsing, protruding belly button and half football like bulge are all signs of weak connective tissue.

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