Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA) is a buzzword amongst fitness and mom circles and has become a common term that many women are on the lookout for especially during and after pregnancy when it seems the post-pregnancy belly won't go away.
Many well-known fitness professionals have created entire niche programs around the so-called “mummy tummy.”
But with all the press Diastasis Recti gets, there’s a lot of error mixed in with the truth. So it can get really confusing trying to figure out what’s correct, who to believe, and what you should do (or not do) if you have a DRA.
Here are some surprising myths about Diastasis Recti Abdominis and what the truth really is…
One of the most common things I see in my clients is Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. The SI joint is where the pelvis and spine (the sacrum to be specific) meet (there’s one on each side) It’s held together by various ligaments and covered in muscle. It also has some prominent nerves running right across it.
What makes the SI joints so prone to pain is that they are right in the center of the body (from top to bottom). Not only are these joints weight-bearing in standing, but they also don’t get to rest when you’re sitting or lying down either. Not to mention what they go through if there so happens to be a baby needing to pass by to, you know, be born.
These guys have to be highly flexible to let that baby pass through the pelvis. If they’re not moving well, it can make for a more difficult labor…not impossible, just not ideal. The crazy thing is, they’re more likely to be out of place AFTER childbirth. So make sure you check it out before having that second baby to make sure they’re where they should be and moving well.
So you’ve had a baby. Congratulations!!! What a blessing and gift!
And even though you hate to admit it, you were disappointed in your birth experience. Maybe it was a lot more painful than you expected, or maybe just not as “magical” as you had hoped.
Maybe you had to be transferred from a home birth to a hospital birth. Or maybe your chosen provider or support team wasn’t even able to be there. Maybe you had hoped to have a vaginal birth and ended up with an episiotomy, or tearing, or emergency C-section.
Maybe nothing turned out like you hoped for at all…
It’s so hard to deal with that disappointment, anger, or fear when you’re supposed to be so happy about your baby, right?
I get it.
And I know you know that we can’t control the birth experience (just like most things in life). Yet, it’s still natural to think and dream about what it will be like. How you’ll rock your birth, it will go smoothly and quickly, you’ll have a dream team to support you, and your baby will be the perfect little bundle.
So, reality hits and maybe your birth wasn’t THAT bad but it wasn’t what you expected. Or maybe it WAS that bad and you feel completely traumatized by the experience. Now what?
Banish Fear! 7 Ways to Boost Immunity Against Pandemic Illness Like Coronavirus in 2020 (TP Not Required)
No doubt the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected you or someone you know in some way. Whether your job, school, or health has been affected, this is a time of uncertainty for many.
It may be scary to wonder what’s going to happen, whether you’re worried about the Coronavirus itself or not, just wondering what other people are going to do (like buy up all the stuff you will need soon...TP anyone?) and how life as we know it will change can cause some angst.
In spite of this, there’s a fair amount of certainty we CAN have as long as we take care of our bodies the best we can and work on building up our health in the meantime. And for the long haul, keeping your health in tip-top shape at all times is much better than trying to do it last minute.
Here are 7 ways to build up your health and increase your immunity:
Good news is, you don’t even need toilet paper to do it! :)
If you’re like me, you use Dr. Google for everything. All the information (and more) you could ever hope to find is out there, right? So it makes sense to start with the DIY route to fix your back...doesn't it?
I’m all for DIY’ing. Our family is totally into the DIY thing. My husband has been doing his share of plumbing repairs around our house and Google has really helped us figure those things out…cause we are not plumbers.
As for taking care of your own health, I’m all for that too! The problem comes when you’re not really sure what your specific problem is so it’s hard to know what “fix” to look for.
So if you have been trying back exercises and they make you worse, but the person showing you how to do them raves how they made her completely better, is she a liar? Well, maybe. :) But maybe the exercises were perfect for their problem, but not good for yours at all.
A client I'll call "Julie" called me to book some sessions to give her some diastasis recti exercises for core strengthening (a diastasis recti is a separation of the abdominal muscles). She'd had two C-sections, the last one 1 year earlier, and was still having tenderness plus didn't feel very strong in her core.
"Can you help me with that?" she asked.
"Absolutely!" I was excited. I love helping ladies heal from giving birth.
When I got to her house, Julie started telling me about her diastasis recti. She also mentioned that she'd been to Physical Therapy before for foot pain in the arch and heel (diagnosed as plantar fasciitis). Unfortunately, P.T. was unsuccessful and Julie figured at this point (3 years later) she was just going to have to live with it.
She had even recently splurged on a pair of expensive house shoes since she couldn't tolerate walking on the wood floor in her home without shoes. Aaaand, not only was her right foot hurting in the arch and heel (the one diagnosed with plantar fasciitis) but now her left foot was tender as well with pain in the ball of her foot. A more recent development.
During the evaluation, Julie definitely had a diastasis recti, though not large. She also had SI joint pain (aka the sacroiliac joint - where the spine attaches to the pelvis) and what looked like a longer leg on one side. Really she didn't have a longer leg, just a rotated pelvis which made it look like she had a longer leg in certain positions. SI joint pain with a rotated pelvis is one of the most common things I see in ladies with back pain, especially if they've ever had a baby.
Julie also had less mobility in her feet, toes, and ankles. And her plantar fascia (arch of the foot) was very tender.
First things first, we worked on aligning her pelvis to make sure we were working with her muscles in balance. Immediately after we did that, Julie looked at me and said, "I think my foot feels better!"