If you are pregnant, there is a good chance that you have heard of diastasis recti. But is diastasis recti painful? This condition occurred when the two muscles that run down the front of your stomach, called the rectus abdominis muscles, separate. This separation can cause several problems, including pain.
What Is Diastasis Recti Abdominis?
Many women suffer from DRA during their childbearing years. As the fetus grows within the uterus, it applies stress to surrounding muscles, most significantly the rectus abdominis on the front side of the body. The rectus abdominis is divided into left and right halves by a strip of connective tissue called the linea alba, which people often refer to as a “6-pack” because of its defined appearance.
When the uterus expands, it can stretch and separate the rectus abdominis muscle into the right and left sides. This separation of the linea alba connective tissue is called diastasis. Diastasis recti abominans (DRA) is a condition that may occur in women during pregnancy and after they give birth. This growth can cause the muscle to stretch too much, resulting in pain.
DRA is considerably more likely to occur in women who are advanced in age, pregnant with multiples, or have had numerous pregnancies. The abdominal muscles play several roles within the body, such as supporting the spine, aiding in movement and respiration, and guarding internal organs.
If a woman’s posture is affected by DRA, she may have trouble controlling her posture, putting her at risk of injury. Additionally, the discomfort, weakness, and modifications to postural control that may result from DRA can affect a mother’s quality of life. At the same time, she juggles the numerous pressures of having a new baby.
Diastasis Recti Symptoms
Diastasis recti symptoms include, but are not limited to:
• A clear and palpable (feelable) separation of the rectus abdominis muscle.
• Flabby Abdominal wall muscle.
• Pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction often causes urinary or bowel problems, such as incontinence, leakage, and constipation.
• You’re feeling faint in the midsection.
• Sexual pain is a very real and difficult thing to endure.
A cesarean section (C-section) can lead to incision scarring, which might worsen some symptoms related to diastasis recti.
Is Diastasis Recti Painful?
Though diastasis recti may not be widely known, it can cause pain for many women. The main problem isn’t the split abs muscles but the pain caused by this muscle separation. For some women, this pain starts during pregnancy or after childbirth.
However, the most frequent complaint is:
- Pain in the hips and lower abdomen is common.
- Lower back pain and sexual pain can both be incredibly debilitating.
Apart from the above, it would help if you also looked for other symptoms, such as:
- Feeling abdominal muscles that are out of shape
- The muscles of your abs are separated.
- Leakage, incontinence, and constipation are all bowel movement problems.
- A weak core
- Bad posture
What Can I Do to Treat My Diastasis Recti Pain?
Now that we addressed your question, “Is diastasis recti painful?”, Do you find that the pain is getting worse and impacting your quality of life?
While painkillers are frequently considered the best treatment, we recommend consulting a physical therapist initially. Your physical therapist will observe how serious your diastasis recti is and provide you with the finest therapy available.
Even so, there are noninvasive treatment options available. The first is working with a physical therapist to build your core muscles. You may also start wearing a belly band or a supportive binder. This provides additional back support, reducing strain and weight on diastasis recti.
When Is Diastasis Recti Painful?
It is considered moderate if you can fit one or two fingers between the affected area. However, it is severe if you can fit three or more fingers, and we recommend seeing a physical therapist.
The pain can also be felt in the shoulders, back, hips, and lower back when left unaddressed. It can potentially cause more than pelvic, hip, and lower-back discomfort.
- Causing irreversible damage to your posture
- It’s also dangerous for trucks driving on rough terrain when the weather is bad.
- Bowel movement difficulties are one of the most common health issues people face.
- Severe DR can cause Hernia.
Can You Treat Diastasis Recti?
Working with a physical therapist is the best choice. This will include a variety of core strengthening and alleviation exercises.
- To improve your stretch, add a lunge to your plank position.
- Glute bridges
Some abdominal muscle tears are only partial, and in these milder cases, the muscles may strengthen and heal unaided after several months. A physical therapy program may help with recovery by improving the muscles around the weak area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How to know the severity of diastasis recti?
Ans: It is considered moderate if you can fit one or two fingers between the affected area. However, it is severe if you can fit three or more fingers, and we recommend seeing a physical therapist.
Q2: Can diastasis recti be left untreated?
Ans: Severe cases of diastasis recti can cause Hernia. It is therefore advised not to leave it untreated.
Q3: Can you lose weight with diastasis recti?
Ans: Excess weight can worsen the condition. Try to avoid any sudden weight changes.
Q4: Can diastasis recti be fixed after 5 years?
Ans: The earlier you seek treatment, the better your chances of a full recovery. However, even after five years, there is a possibility that you can fix diastasis recti.
Q5: Can you live with diastasis recti?
Ans: Diastasis recti can cause pain in the shoulders and back, as well as around the hips and lower back. It can potentially cause more than pelvic, hip, and lower-back discomfort. Therefore, it is not advisable to live with diastasis recti.
Diastasis rectus is a condition that can be painful and cause discomfort. However, there are treatment options available that can help you recover. If you think you may have diastasis recti, we recommend seeing a physical therapist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Even though diastasis rectus abdominis can be painful, treatments available can help alleviate the pain. Physical therapy is one of the best treatment methods because it helps strengthen the muscles around the affected area.