Silhouette of people against a sunset - Who is affected by Diastasis Recti?

Who is affected by Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti is one of those problems many people have, but not a lot of people know. So we wanted to dedicate an article to shed a little more light on the situation and discuss how you can solve it. 

Perhaps one of the reasons that diastasis recti goes undetected is because it’s not typically a dangerous condition. Many people who get it will do so through no fault of their own and without the power to prevent it. Diastasis recti doesn’t often lead to any other more serious illnesses or problems, though it can be a risk factor for developing a hernia. However, it does have some inconvenient and unwanted consequences, including bloating, constipation, back pain and reduced stability and mobility. 

Who is Most Likely to Develop Diastasis Recti? 

The simple answer is that anyone can experience diastasis recti, including men, women and even newborn babies. More than half of pregnant people will develop diastasis recti either during pregnancy or postpartum. A significant number of men also suffer from diastasis recti at some time in their lives, though it often goes undiagnosed. People undergoing abdominal surgery or who have experienced rapid weight gain are at greater risk of developing diastasis recti. 

Researching the Risk Factors

Clinical studies into the factors that make a person more susceptible to diastasis recti have yielded few conclusive answers. However, in one recent study from 2021, researchers used ultrasonic imaging to define a set of criteria for determining the presence of diastasis recti. Using these criteria, they found some common threads in postpartum women – specifically that BMI, delivery age, and multiple pregnancies led to an increased risk of developing diastasis recti. 

Diastasis Recti Without a (Known) Cause

Some people experiencing diastasis recti notice a bulge in their abdomen resulting from excessive pressure pushing out from the abdominal cavity. Pressure can build up when you lift something heavy or engage your core muscles in other activities. When your core is healthy, all of the muscles surrounding your torso work together to contain the pressure. However, when your core muscles are out of balance or your body alignment is off, the pressure can cause a strain on the tissue connecting the abdominal muscles. Over time, all of that pressure has the effect of slowly thinning and stretching, and eventually, the bulge becomes visible. In fact, improper lifting or exercise over long periods is one of the most common causes of diastasis recti in men.

There isn’t anything you can definitively do to prevent diastasis recti after pregnancy or surgery. It stands to reason, though, that if you go into it with a healthy core, you improve your odds of healing naturally afterwards. Being conscious of your body alignment and the correct way to lift and stretch can also help. 

How to eliminate Diastasis Recti

For the lucky ones, diastasis recti heals on its own without any intervention. In very extreme cases for adults, surgery is needed. For the rest of us, core supporting exercises will improve the core’s ability to handle pressure, allow the soft tissue to return to a more natural state. The specific exercise needed depends on the degree and the location along the linea alba where the diastasis recti exists. However, the road to recovery using exercise is slow and tedious. 

Advanced technology using HIFEM is a faster and easier way that has shown excellent results in getting your core back into shape and eliminating diastasis recti. The treatment involves triggering thousands of contractions and relaxation cycles in the muscles over a short time. Many more, and with more intensity than you could possibly do on your own. Your muscles gain strength and greater activation potential to help them work optimally. Want to know more about the process? Give us a call or follow us on Instagram. Restoring and maintaining core fitness is what we do, and we do it without breaking a sweat.

Learn more about our workshops and services