The MUTU System program is endorsed by Women’s Health Physical Therapists and Physiotherapists worldwide. It is grounded in a whole-body approach to alignment and foundation core connection for natural activation. MUTU System has never advocated the use of a splint or binder to ‘pull’ a compromised core or diastasis recti back into place or to reduce pain with diastasis recti. New research confirms this hypothesis – that merely to aspire to ‘close the gap’ is neither helpful nor anatomically correct.
MUTU System has a philosophy of empowering and achieving deep connection, both physiological and psychological, along with whole body, natural movement rather than excessive or isolated ‘core work’, and I passionately encourage you to educate yourself with this new knowledge.
New diastasis research supports this approach
Highly respected Physiotherapist Diane Lee, with Paul Hodges, have presented new clinical findings on treating diastasis recti. Lee’s clinical findings and teaching have long been widely regarded as a leading authority on diastasis recti, as well as pelvic girdle pain, incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.
The discussion had previously centred around solutions to ‘closing the gap’ as well as seeking a protocol or ‘maximum gap’ at which surgery would be deemed necessary (or when a diastasis was unable to be narrowed with exercise).
More recently Lee began a clinical study to investigate diastasis recti in detail with funding from the University of Queensland. Some of the findings were presented to the Associated Charter of Physiotherapists in Women’s Health Conference in Bristol, England, September 2013. The lecture “New Perspectives from The Integrated Systems Model for Treating Women with Pelvic Girdle Pain, Urinary Incontinence, Pelvic Organ Prolapse, and Diastasis Rectus Abdominis” is now public and can be viewed in full on Diane Lee’s site here.
As part of their research, Lee and Hodges studied not only the distance between the 2 sides of the abdominals or ‘inter-recti distance’, both at rest and during exercise, but importantly, the quality of the deep transverse abdominis muscle activation during that exercise. Some women could narrow the gap by engaging their abdominals, but they achieved this by unconscious, non-optimal recruitment of the abdominals.
What does this mean?
This means that they could make the gap come together by contracting their obliques for example, but the deep core transverse muscle, the one necessary for true trunk stability, was not being recruited at all. The result = a temporarily narrower gap, but still, no tension (stability) restored in the midline.
Some other women were able to effectively recruit their transverse muscle for complete stability and tension in the linea alba… but in doing so the gap itself either stayed the same or even widened.
What does this suggest?
This suggests, that without core stability from recruitment of the deep core muscles – transverse abdominis and co-activation of the pelvic floor – the woman is no more able to control joint movement or load bearing than before – regardless of the gap.
THE ABILITY TO CONNECT WITH, RESTORE RECRUIT (USE) THE DEEP MUSCLES OF YOUR CORE CORRECTLY IS VITAL TO GAINING FUNCTION and STRENGTH. MERELY PULLING THE GAP CLOSED ISN’T. MUTU SYSTEM’S WHOLE-BODY APPROACH TO RESTORING CORE FUNCTION APPEARS TO BE THE ANATOMICALLY CORRECT APPROACH.
These findings cast still further doubt on the protocol of those diastasis programs in which the manual or forced drawing together of the 2 sides of muscle (‘closing the gap’) by binding or splinting, is proposed as the solution for restoring core function.