Understanding Diastasis Recti: A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist’s Perspective

There are many misconceptions surrounding diastasis recti. Read to learn more about causes, effects, and treatments of/for diastasis recti!


As a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, I have encountered numerous misconceptions surrounding diastasis recti, a condition that affects many individuals, particularly women during and after pregnancy. I want  to shed light on what diastasis recti truly is, how it affects the body, and most importantly, how it can be effectively managed and treated.

What is Diastasis Recti?

🤔Diastasis recti, commonly referred to as abdominal separation, occurs when the connective tissue between the rectus abdominis muscles (the “six-pack” muscles) stretches and weakens, causing the muscles to separate. This separation creates a gap between the muscles, which can result in a protruding belly or a noticeable bulge in the midsection.

Causes of Diastasis Recti:

🤷‍♀️🤱🏋️‍♀️While diastasis recti is most commonly associated with pregnancy, it can also occur due to factors such as:

  1. Rapid weight gain or loss
  2. Incorrect lifting techniques
  3. Excessive or improper abdominal exercises
  4. Genetics

Effects of Diastasis Recti on the Body:

Diastasis recti can lead to various physical and functional issues, including:

  1. Weakened core stability and support
  2. Lower back pain
  3. Pelvic floor dysfunction, such as urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse
  4. Poor posture and body mechanics

Treatment and Management:

As a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, my approach to treating diastasis recti focuses on restoring proper function and alignment of the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. Treatment strategies may include:

  1. Gentle abdominal exercises to strengthen the deep core muscles without exacerbating the separation.
  2. Manual therapy techniques to release tight muscles and improve tissue mobility.
  3. Education on proper body mechanics and posture to prevent further strain on the abdominal muscles.
  4. Pelvic floor exercises to improve pelvic floor function and provide additional support to the core.

💞It’s important to note that every individual’s experience with diastasis recti is unique, and the treatment approach should be tailored to their specific needs and goals. Additionally, patience and consistency are key components of the healing process, as it may take time to see significant improvement.


While diastasis recti may not always be entirely preventable, there are steps that individuals can take to reduce their risk, such as:

  1. Engaging in safe and appropriate exercise routines, particularly during pregnancy and postpartum.
  2. Practicing proper lifting techniques, avoiding heavy lifting, and using abdominal bracing when lifting objects.
  3. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding rapid weight gain or loss.


As a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, my goal is to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively manage and treat diastasis recti. By understanding the underlying causes and implementing targeted treatment strategies, individuals can regain strength, function, and confidence in their bodies. Remember, seeking guidance from a qualified healthcare professional is essential for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment. Together, we can work towards a stronger, healthier core and improved overall well-being.🌟

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