If you have given birth recently and have noticed that despite your many efforts to exercise, your stomach still has a pouch, you could have diastasis recti. This is a condition which results when the Linea Alba, the tissues which connect the muscles of the abdomen, especially the Rectus Abdominis, lose their elasticity, compromising your entire core. Most people worry about the aesthetic problems that are created by the condition, but the more severe problem is that it makes your core weak and could eventually lead to prolapse of pelvic organs is left untreated.
Understanding the cause
Diastasis Recti is caused by excessive pressure on the muscles of the abdomen. For instance, as your pregnancy progresses, your uterus pushes against the Transverse Abdominis, the obliques and the Rectus Abdominis. The Linea Alba stretches beyond its capacity and slowly starts losing its elasticity. After giving birth, unfortunately, the condition cannot fix itself, and specific exercises and therapies are needed to heal the damage.
Using an abdominal splint to heal a diastasis
An abdominal splint is like a brace or belt which is made to support the separated muscles until they heal. A good quality splint is one which is made with the aim of bringing the separated parts of the abdominal muscle back together and is suitable to use even when exercising. The splint can also be be used during day-to-day activities. It lowers the possibility of further damage to the abdominal muscles when you resume normal activity or when exercising.
Doing exercises which help close the gap
The most natural exercise that people go to when they realise they have a post-pregnancy belly is sit-ups, crunches and other related exercises. Unfortunately, these exercises worsen a diastasis as they pull the Linea Alba muscles further apart. Exercises which can help isolate these muscles and repair them include Pilates, planks and Kegel exercises, which are effective in healing the separation and promoting the overall health of the pelvic floor.
Diastasis Recti affects almost all women in their third trimester of pregnancy. With the right exercise equipment and guidance when doing exercises, this is a problem which can be easily fixed. You should start by finding out how wide your diastasis gap is and how you can safely and efficiently close it. Remember that heavy lifting and other strenuous exercises will interfere with your progress when trying to close your diastasis recti. Speak with your doctor and read personal health blogs to learn more.