Don’t even think about standing in a plank or pumping abs.
Diastasis is considered a “corporate” problem for young mothers. According to some reports, about 60% of women who left the hospital less than 12 months ago suffer from it to some extent.
But in fact, everyone – including men – can face the divergence of the rectus abdominis muscles.
What is diastasis and where does it come from
This violation is easier to show than to describe. Here is how diastasis looks like on the example of a female figure – before and during or after pregnancy:
And now for the decryption. The abdominal wall of the abdomen, which covers the internal organs, is formed by two large, parallel muscle groups. They converge on a conditional vertical line passing through the center of the body through the navel.
During pregnancy, hormones tend to thin the connective tissue that holds the muscles together. In addition, the growing uterus constantly presses on the muscle wall from the inside. If the baby is large or the pregnancy is multiple, the impact can be so strong that the connective tissue is stretched and the muscles diverge. Actually, “diastasis” in translation from Greek means “divergence”.
It is important to note that not every young mother develops diastasis. At-risk are pregnant women of small stature, in poor physical shape, and those over 35 years old.
But there is another reason for diastasis – a sharp weight gain. The fat that accumulates in the waist area puts pressure on the muscles and can also cause their discrepancy, including in men and women who have never given birth.
Additional risk factors for physicians include:
- Frequent and significant weight fluctuations.
- Exercises for the abs.
- Elderly age.
- Heredity. If someone in your immediate family has diastasis, you are more likely to develop it.
How to recognize diastasis
The main symptom of the disorder is a vertical bulge in the center of the abdomen. Sometimes the divergence of the muscles is small, and it can only be detected under load, for example, when you sit down from a prone position.
There may be no other signs. But there is a risk that if you do not get rid of the diastasis, they will appear.
Why diastasis is dangerous
Here are some unpleasant things that can arise when muscles diverge:
Urogynecological problems: urinary and fecal incontinence, prolapse (prolapse, loss) of the pelvic organs.
Fortunately, not everyone gets these complications. But their risk increases if the diastasis is not corrected.
How to get rid of diastasis
There are two main methods for correcting diastasis. The therapist will help you choose the most suitable one – first, consult with him.
It is a correction through exercises that strengthen the muscles of the abdomen, back, and hips. In addition, your physical therapist may recommend that you maintain posture, wear a corset, and engage in aerobic activities such as walking, running, swimming, cycling, or attending yoga or Pilates classes.
Strength exercises, especially with a load on the abs (plank, push-ups, twisting), are best avoided – they can worsen the condition.
However, physiotherapy only helps if the diastasis is small. From the point of view of evidence-based medicine, the effectiveness of this method has not been sufficiently confirmed to date.
- Surgical intervention
This is a more effective way to get rid of diastasis. There are two options for the operation:
Open. The muscles are sutured by making a large incision in the abdomen. Such an operation is prescribed only if, in addition to correcting diastasis, it is necessary to remove excess adipose tissue and skin (this procedure is called abdominoplasty).
Minimally invasive. The abdominal wall is repaired through tiny punctures. Such an operation is less traumatic, after it there are no scars, and the patient is discharged from the hospital within a day or two after the procedure.