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Abdominal Separation or Diastasis Recti

Abdominal separation has been shown to occur in 100% of pregnancies, just to varying levels, most of which resolve over time. The diastasis occurs when the collagen fibres in the Linea alba become stretched. The linea alba is not a true ligament, but layers of fascia from the four muscle layers of the abdominal wall. The muscle of each layer tensions its associated fascia and that then closes the gap. The collagen fibres within the facia respond to the tension and will thicken and repair. The main fascial layer that makes up the linea alba is the deepest that is associated with the transversus muscle.

For some women the abdominal separation doesn’t resolve. It can cause cosmetic concern. It can also cause weakness through the post-partum core. When looking at rehabilitation we assess the degree of separation of the six pack muscles above and below the belly button. Then start on a progressive loading program to strengthen each layer of the abdominal wall and start improving the collagen fibres. The majority of women have a very good response to rehab.   

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