WHAT CAUSES A DIASTASIS + HOW TO TEST YOURSELF
Diastasis Recti happens when the abdominal and pelvic region is subjected to uncontained Intra Abdominal Pressure. That’s pressure pushing outwards and downwards, pressure that your core isn’t withstanding and containing as nature intended, resulting in the common “Mummy Tummy” bulge.
Because the muscles and the function of your core are compromised, pelvic floor weakness very often accompanies a diastasis – and in severe cases, hernia or pelvic organ prolapse may even occur.
HOW TO TEST YOURSELF FOR DIASTASIS RECTI + CORE WEAKNESS
You can test yourself to find out the extent of your own diastasis and level of core weakness.
Whilst performing the test please also be mindful of:
• Pain in your back or pubic area
• A soft gap or separation between the 2 parts of the Rectus muscle
• Any bulging or doming of the abdomen
• Feel your pelvic floor – is there any bulging or doming?
It’s important to note that you’re not just assessing the width of the gap, but also the depth. How much resistance does the connective tissue in the middle, offer?
Do your fingers sink deep into a soft and squishy area… or does it feel firm in the middle when you perform the test?
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
You can rest your head on a cushion or pillow.
Relax your head and shoulders and place 3 fingers (palm facing you) just higher than your belly button. Press down gently but firmly with your fingertips, and then lift your shoulder blades slightly off the floor. You will feel the muscles close in around your fingers as you lift your head and neck. Don’t lift your shoulders up too high. Don’t hold this position for more than a second or two. You may want to try a few times so you can feel how the muscles work. If you don’t feel the two ridges of the muscles with 2 fingers then try more. A diastasis gap is measured in finger widths. A 1-2 finger width gap or less is fine, but don’t panic if it’s much bigger at first.
Remember, you are also testing for the condition of the connective tissue (the Linea Alba). So for this we are looking at the depth of the DR, the further your fingers go into your belly, the weaker the connective tissue.
WHAT TO AVOID
Don’t do crunches. This simply increases pressure pushing out on your tummy and down on your pelvic floor and makes the doming or bulging worse. A full ‘Plank’ position is also unsuitable if you do not have foundation core control and stability.
In terms of every day movements, avoid lifting straight up from a horizontal lying position – always roll to your side and push up from there; be careful when twisting and turning from the waist, be aware and USE your core muscles (MUTU System teaches you how!) whenever you lift, twist or get up from lying or crouching.