If you answered yes to any of the above then you might have an abdominal separation. This is a common problem after having a baby. The good news is that this problem can get better with Specialist Physiotherapy. Our Women’s Health Physiotherapist can help to assess your stomach and advise you on how to begin strengthening your muscles to flatten your stomach again! It’s never too late to strengthen your abdominals, even if you did have your children several years ago.
During your pregnancy, your stomach muscles will stretch to make room for your growing baby bump. The top layer of stomach muscles (Rectus Abdominis) or ‘six pack muscles’ separate from their attachment to the midline connective tissue called the Linea Alba. In many women the stretched muscles will come back to normal after having a baby. In about 50% of women however, they will be left with abdominal separation called Rectus Abdominis Divarification or diastisis (RAD). Separation of the abdominals will cause weakness of the muscles and can potentially lead to back pain or increased risk of hernias.
A small separation of less than two finger’s width post-partum is common and is usually not a problem. A separation at the middle of your abdominal muscles which measures more than two finger’s width is indicative of RAD and it is recommended that you see a Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist.
During your initial assessment, your physiotherapist will measure the width of your diastasis and together you will decide on a treatment plan. Your physiotherapy treatment aims to reduce the size of the gap and improve lower abdominal muscle function. Your physiotherapy treatment may include:
Email a Women’s Health expert in confidence to discuss your needs.
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