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Restore Your Core: Diastasis Recti and Pelvic Floor Talks

Lauren Ohayon

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Restore Your Core: Diastasis Recti and Pelvic Floor Talks

Restore Your Core: Diastasis Recti and Pelvic Floor Talks

Lauren Ohayon

1
Followers
1
Plays
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About Us

The Restore Your Core podcast is all about health and fitness for those struggling with Diastasis Recti or Pelvic Floor issues.

Lauren Ohayon makes videos, runs a thriving facebook group, and creates blogs that help people to feel better and reclaim their healthy bodies.

https://restoreyourcore.com/learn/diastasis-recti/

If you're too busy to read the blog then feel free to listen to the podcast! We hope to be a part of your core restoration journey.

Latest Episodes

Rectocele Symptoms

Rectocele Symptoms A woman’s vagina is separated from her rectum by ligaments and tissues known as the rectovaginal septum. The tissues that line this wall are called fascia. At times, due to compromised pelvic health or pelvic injuries, a woman may experience a weakness of the vaginal wall and rectovaginal septum. When this occurs, a part of the rectum can bulge and protrude into the vagina. This is called a rectocele prolapse. What is Rectocele? Rectocele is a condition which causes the supportive tissues between the rectum and the vagina to weaken. This can occur due to excess pressure in the rectum, excess vaginal pressure, or excess intra-abdominal pressure leading to pelvic floor issues such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP). When this occurs, the separating tissues can herniate causing the front wall of the rectum to bulge into the vagina. This issue is also commonly called a posterior vaginal prolapse. Oftentimes, the prolapse is small and does not pose any painful symptoms or difficulties. However, in severe cases, the bulge may manifest outside of the vaginal opening and require surgical repair. Signs and Symptoms of Rectocele In many cases, someone may have a rectocele for a long period of time without noticing any symptoms. In minor to moderate cases of symptomatic rectocele, someone may experience feelings of mild discomfort, pressure, or minor pain in the vaginal or rectal regions. This may be accompanied by a feeling of incompletion after bowel movements. In moderate to severe cases, women with a rectocele may have an increased sensation of pain and discomfort in their vagina, rectum, or abdomen while pooping. This can be a result of the feces being pushed into the rectocele during a bowel movement. Women with moderate rectocele run a higher risk of constipation, painful intercourse, and lower abdominal and lower back pain. In severe cases, the rectocele can prolapse causing the tissue to protrude out of the vaginal opening. Other symptoms of rectocele may include: A small bulge in the wall of the vaginaNeeding assistance of fingers to perform a bowel movementPressure in rectumA feeling like an “air bubble” in the vaginaPain, discomfort, or feelings of looseness during vaginal intercourse Other pelvic organ prolapse issues such as vaginal prolapse, uterine prolapse, rectal prolapse, or other issues with the pelvic floor. Rectocele is a common condition many women may face without ever knowing it. Most often it is associated with postpartum issues, but it can affect women who have never been pregnant as well. If you are experiencing severe issues such as: tissue bulging through your vaginal opening or constant struggles with constipation, it may be time to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Generally a Urogyn is the best bet for diagnosis.

2 min5 d ago
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Rectocele Symptoms

Rectocele Repair

Rectocele Repair Repair for a vaginal rectocele is pursued in order to correct the herniation or bulging of the bottom wall of the vagina. Symptoms of rectocele can become quite uncomfortable and painful over time. If left untreated, rectocele can lead to symptoms such as: the feeling of increased pressure or protrusion in the vagina or rectum, inability to defecate or feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowels, pelvic pain, and/or painful sex. Both non-surgical and surgical procedures for rectocele repair are only considered if symptoms become severe and inhibit daily life. Surgery for rectocele is typically performed transvagianally, yet, in some severe cases, may be completed both vaginally and abdominally. Why Do I Need Treatment for Rectocele? Treatment for rectocele can greatly aid in managing and reducing symptoms of rectocele or other forms of pelvic organ prolapse. In some cases, rectocele and POP may be undetectable until the condition has progressed in severity. A small rectocele is often unrecognized until a doctor notices it during a physical examination. In many cases, rectocele occurs alongside other pelvic organ related conditions. Treatment is designed to help reduce symptoms and heal any herniations, tears, or prolapses. Treatments include both surgical and non-surgical options. Although surgery for rectocele is often rare, in severe cases surgery may be your best option. Severe rectocele symptoms include: Bowels feeling full post defecationA noticeable bulge or protrusion in the vaginaInability to perform a bowel movementRectal incontinence Is Rectocele Repair Major Surgery? Rectocele repair surgery is a major, out-patient surgery. A doctor will typically only recommend surgery for rectocele if at home exercise programs and / or physical therapy has not resolved the problem. The surgical procedure for rectocele removal is called posterior colporrhaphy which removes the herniated bowel from the wall of the vagina. Rectocele surgery is designed to: Ease pain and discomfortMinimally invasive transvaginal procedureOutpatient (usually released without needing overnight stay)Quick recovery time (2-3 weeks or less on average) What is a Rectocele Repair Procedure? The procedure for rectocele repair surgery is typically a straightforward process. The surgery is often performed through the vagina (transvagianlly.. The procedure is typically performed by a surgeon making a small incision along the posterior vaginal wall. Excess tissue along the herniation is removed and stitches are sewn around the tear sight. If the doctor notices any other forms of pelvic organ prolapse, he may resolve those issues as well during the procedure. Once complete, the vaginal incisions are stitched up and packed with gauze. Please speak with your doctor for more information on this process.

3 min5 d ago
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Rectocele Repair

Prolapse Dysfunction: Rectocele Prolapse

Rectocele Prolapse Rectocele is a herniation of the tissue wall between the vagina and the rectum. Over time, this tissue wall - also known as the rectovaginal septum - can become weakened resulting in a pelvic organ hernia or pelvic organ prolapse. In this article we will discuss what a rectocele is, what the symptoms are, and how it can be treated. What is a Prolapsed Rectocele? A rectocele is a herniation, prolapse, or weakening of the rectovagianl septum (tissue wall between the rectum and the vagina). Rectocele is also commonly known as a posterior vaginal prolapse or a proctocele. This can occur as an isolated injury or gradual weakening of the tissues, or occur as a result of prolonged pelvic floor dysfunction. When the pelvic floor is weakened along with the ligaments and tissues between the vagina and the rectum, it can cause the vaginal and rectal walls to weaken and bulge leading very painful symptoms and other pelvic organ related issues. In severe cases, the vaginal or rectal walls can bulge and protrude from the vaginal opening. Other types of Pelvic Floor Prolapse There are several other types of pelvic organ prolapse that may present themselves in similar ways as rectocele: Cystocele, or anterior vaginal prolapse: occurs when a woman's bladder bulges into the vaginal wallUterine prolapse: occurs when the uterine walls become weakened or unsupported and the uterus bulges into the vaginal wall.Rectal prolapse: occurs when the rectal wall is weakened and protrudes through the anusVault prolapse: occurs when thevaginal vault (top of the vagina) bulges. Pelvic prolapses can vary greatly in their severity and at times, different types may occur simultaneously. What is the Main Cause for a Rectocele? Although the exact cause of a rectocele is unknown, it is most commonly a result of a weakened pelvic floor and often goes hand in hand with excess pelvic pressure and intra abdominal pressure. A woman's pelvic floor can become weak after undergoing physically traumatic experiences such as: childbirth through vaginal delivery, difficulties with vaginal childbirth (if forceps or a vacuum were used, vaginal tearing, or an episiotomy). It is common for women to experience some form of pelvic floor or core weakness related issue postpartum. However, women who have never been pregnant can still develop a rectocele. Other Causes of Rectocele There are several other factors that may lead someone to develop a rectocele. Posterior pelvic organ prolapse can occur as a result of increased, intra-abdominal pressure. Outside of pregnancy, other causes of rectocele and increased pelvic pressure include: Chronic constipationStraining, difficulty in performing bowel movementsChronic cough, pneumonia, or bronchitisHysterectomyPelvic region surgeryImproper heavy lifting techniquesObesityAge

3 min5 d ago
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Prolapse Dysfunction: Rectocele Prolapse

Pelvic Floor Stretches

Pelvic Floor Stretches Persistent pelvic floor pain can be difficult to endure. Pelvic floor dysfunction issues can range between hyperactivity to pelvic organ prolapse. The result of both cases can lead to painful and embarrassing symptoms for both men and women. In this article, I will address helpful exercises and stretches that help free you of painful symptoms and aid in restoring pelvic floor and core function. To be clear, stretching is just one type of input into the pelvic floor system and is not the only thing you should do for a tight / tense pelvic floor. Downtraining your pelvic floor will require a variety of loads and inputs, stretching is one important one. How to Stretch Pelvic Muscles There are several ways you can properly stretch and engage your pelvic floor in order to reduce pelvic floor tension . One of the most beneficial and important techniques that I teach my clients is 3-D breathing – a pattern of breathing that uses the rib cage expansion rather than belly expansion for an effective and efficient strategy. One of the key elements in resolving pelvic floor dysfunction and POP is breathing mechanics. In Restore Your Core, I spend a significant amount of time teaching my clients proper breathing mechanics. Often people don’t realize the way they breathe impacts the integrity of their core and pelvic floor. Yet, most of us do not even realize easily we can fall into improper breathing patterns. Most people are belly breathers. This means that while inhaling, they’re extending their abdomen – focusing the tension in their belly. An Illustration of this would look like filling an oval-shaped balloon with water and squeezing the top creating a bulge. The exact same thing happens when you belly breathe. Bulging your gut strains your core and pelvic floor by increasing intra-abdominal pressure. This tends to cause muscle and organ damage in those regions. Our pelvic floor is not designed to handle a lot of consistent pressure and stress. I spend a lot of my time with clients training them to 3-D breathe. 3-D breathing trains you to engage your diaphragm and rib cage while breathing. This means that instead of your belly extending as you inhale, your rib cage expands. Breathing in this manner reduces pressure in your core and pelvic region. Additionally, this technique encourages proper core response and engagement in your daily activities. Now that you understand proper breathing mechanics, it is time to learn how to properly stretch and exercise your core and pelvic floor. Stretches for the Pelvic Floor: Supine Pelvic Floor Stretch Lying on your back, keep your knees bent and bring them toward your chest. Slowly extend your knees to the side to stretch the inner groin. Relax your pelvic floor and butt. Remain in this position for 5 to 10 breaths and relax.

2 min5 d ago
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Pelvic Floor Stretches

Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic Floor Therapy Pelvic floor therapy is recommended for conditions where the pelvic floor and core system is not functioning optimally. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and its related conditions can be caused by many different things. These can include: InfectionsPregnancy or childbirthPoor postureTraumaChronic back painSurgery However, PFD can also seem to have no cause and present itself with a host of painful symptoms. In some women, the cause of PFD can be a result of postpartum diastasis recti. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and other tissues which form a sling from the pubic symphysis to the tailbone. Many cases of PFD stem from a lack of sufficient support from the pelvic floor. These pelvic floor muscles assist in maintaining correct posture, abdominal and pelvic organ support, and aid in bladder and bowel control as well as sexual activity. If these muscles become overactive or overused (hypertonic), the results can be quite painful and function can decrease significantly. Less often, the pelvic floor muscles are hypotonic–lacking sufficient resting tension to perform their jobs. Yet, due to the complexity of the anatomy and functions of the pelvic region, the underlying cause of pain can be difficult to determine. In this case, the whole body must be treated and physical therapy including pelvic floor exercise can greatly aid in men and women in their healing process and recovery. Why do I need pelvic floor therapy? (POP) or pelvic organ prolapse is a type of pelvic floor dysfunction in which one or more pelvic floor organs (i.e. bladder, rectum, small bowel, uterus, etc) shift toward or down into the vaginal canal. This most commonly happens withconditions like diastasis recti, which create an imbalance of muscle and ligament tension supporting the pelvic floor; many people who have POP also have a DRA. Women who experience a pelvic organ prolapse sometimes describe the occurrence as feeling like a “stuck tampon,” a heavy pelvic floor, or as bubbles in the urethra. Some other symptoms present may include: constipationpelvic pain during sexurinary/fecal incontinence Most fitness gurus try to educate their clients with core exercise routines that engage the pelvic floor and the core together. They believe that if you engage your core in any activity, you should also engage your pelvic floor. However, I believe there is a lot wrong with this routine and practice. As a trained and educated professional, I never, ever attempt to teach pelvic floor muscles to engage in exercise. Rather, it is important to train the pelvic floor to lift and release appropriately depending on the exercise and the weight. This is what I teach in my 13-week program, Restore Your Core.

2 min5 d ago
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Pelvic Floor Therapy

Is Pelvic Floor Repair Major Surgery?

Is Pelvic Floor Repair Major Surgery? Pelvic floor repair surgery is the most common surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor repair is a broad term used to classify a variety of simple, surgical procedures for repairing the pelvic floor. The three surgeries for pelvic floor prolapse include anterior repair, posterior repair, and a hysterectomy. Although Restore Your Core does not provide any surgical treatment for pelvic floor issues, my hope is that this article may answer any questions you may have regarding pelvic floor repair and the various procedures and treatments involved in getting you back to a healthy, active lifestyle. What are the Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Prolapse can affect several abdominal organs. These organs are said to prolapse if they descend into or out of the vaginal canal or anus. The medical terminology for these occurrences include: Cystocele: prolapse of the bladder into the vagina, the most common conditionUrethrocele: prolapse of the urethra (the tube that carries urine)Uterine prolapseVaginal vault prolapse: prolapse of the vaginaEnterocele: Small bowel prolapseRectocele: Rectum prolapse What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse? There are many factors that are thought to cause a prolapse. In most cases, anything that may apply or put increased pressure in the abdomen can lead to a pelvic organ prolapse. Some of the common causes may include: Pregnancy, labor, and childbirth are the most common causesObesityConnective tissue disordersRespiratory problems with a chronic, long-term coughConstipationGenetic factorsPelvic organ cancersSurgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) Diastasis recti (weakened core, connective tissues) Symptoms The symptoms of a prolapse somewhat depend on which organ has descended. If you are suffering from a bladder prolapse, urinary incontinence may occur. If it is a rectal prolapse, constipation, painful bowel movements, and painful sex often occur. Lower back pain, painful sex, and bowel obstruction or incontinence tend to accompany a small intestine prolapse as well. If you are suffering from a prolapse of the uterus, you may also suffer from uncomfortable intercourse, incontinence, and lower back pain. In some cases, there may never be signs of a prolapse or the presence of any painful symptoms. However, in others some women report symptoms ranging from: Pressure or sense of fullness in the pelvic areaLower back painPainful sexSensation of something falling out of the vaginaUrinary incontinence or frequent urinationConstipationSpotting or bleeding from the vagina In cases where there may be a severe prolapse, POP symptoms may worsen. One may notice: Bulging of the vaginal regionNeeding manual assistance during a bowel movementDifficulty urinating, spraying stream of urineThe need to lift the bulging vagina in order to urinateUrinary leakage during intercourseRecurrent UTIs or kidney infections

3 min5 d ago
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Is Pelvic Floor Repair Major Surgery?

Pelvic Floor Specialist

Pelvic Floor Specialist Pelvic floor physiotherapists help women rehabilitate their pelvic floor region. The muscle groups within the core and pelvic region can be weakened by childbirth, surgery, genetics, heavy lifting, rapid weight gain, constipation, menopause, improper breathing mechanics, and more. These muscle groups aid in supporting the uterus, bladder, and bowels. They form a slinglike grouping from the pubic bone to the front of the tailbone at the back. Damaged or weakened pelvic floors can affect bladder and bowel control, leading to urinary and rectal incontinence or even pelvic organ prolapse. At times, the pelvic floor can become overactive or hypertonic. This means that their pelvic floor muscles are overly tight and tense all of the time, even when they should be relaxed. Learning to relax and release the pelvic floor muscles (muscles contractions like the short contraction of the bulging of a bicep or long contraction, like the slow, contained stretching out of a bicep) will help ease overactivity. An overactive pelvic floor can cause many symptoms such as: back pain, pain during sex, heaviness or incontinence. What is a pelvic floor specialist? Doctors who specialize in pelvic floor dysfunction issues are called urogynecologists and physiotherapists. A urogynecologist will care for women with pelvic floor disorders by providing services that help evaluate pelvic floor health and provide primarily surgical treatments for pelvic organ prolapse. Their speciality covers the muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and nerves within the uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum. A physiotherapist or Occupational therapist who specializes in pelvic floor treatment helps treat pelvic floor issues non-surgically. This is commonly done through exercise and manual therapy as well as extended education and advice on how to properly engage and strengthen your pelvic floor. Other specialists who aid in pelvic floor therapy include movement specialists and occupational therapists. Movement therapy can play a significant part in retraining the body toward correct posture, alignment, deep-tissue manipulation, and provide educational instruction on how the body works and how it heals. What is involved in pelvic floor physical therapy? Pelvic floor therapy most commonly involves exercises and education on how to properly engage and strengthen the pelvic floor. A specialist like a physiotherapist will help instruct their clients with a range of techniques ranging from: Breathing mechanicsTherapeutic exercise & core buildingPelvic floor realignmentProper postureSymptom treatmentPhysical education Pelvic floor therapy seeks to instruct women in how their bodies work while also treating any conditions causing pain or embarrassing symptoms – like pelvic organ prolapse. When seeking treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction or POP, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

2 min5 d ago
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Pelvic Floor Specialist

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic Floor Disorder Pelvic floor issues mostly occur when the pelvic floor muscles are lacking enough tone (hypotonic) or are too “tight” (hypertonic). Some people may experience weak pelvic muscles and core muscles from an early age. Others may not notice problems until after certain stages of life such as pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause. Something many women may not realize is that when pelvic floor dysfunction is present, it is a result of over toned, too short pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor cannot function in this state. Think of it this way - you can contract muscles and make them shorter (as in a bicep curl) or you can contract it by making it longer (releasing a bicep curl). Strengthening your pelvic floor means loading it long (like a slow, controlled release of a bicep curl). Overworking these muscles and connective tissues without learning how to properly engage the various muscle groups can keep you from relaxing them fully. The most common reasons why someone may be suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction are: Excessive pelvic floor tension Pregnancy and birth ongoing constipation and straining to empty the bowels being overweight or obese if it contributes to excessive intraabdominal pressure heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym) a chronic cough or sneeze (e.g. due to asthma, smoking or hayfever) previous injury to the pelvic region (e.g. a fall, surgery or pelvic radiotherapy) growing older Although it is hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and therefore trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal muscles. A pelvic floor that is responsive to the varying loads placed on it keeps your organs functioning as they should--no more leaking pee when you sneeze. All people benefit from learning how to release and engage their pelvic floors, so that the pelvic floor reacts reflexively. What are the symptoms of tight pelvic floor muscles? Symptoms vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction include: Stress incontinence (sneeze pee) Rectal incontinence Incessant need to pee (urge incontinence) Difficulty in emptying your bladder or bowel A prolapse (in women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping) Pain in your pelvic region Pelvic muscles spasms Painful sex Hypertonic pelvic floor muscles can result in painful and embarrassing symptoms. Pelvic pain and incontinence can be uncomfortable and embarrassing at best.. However, there are ways to begin releasing and integrating your pelvic floor muscles in order to gain back control over your body. What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? Pelvic floor dysfunction causes are still being researched. However, there are some common conditions that are linked with PFD and POP. Some of the common causes for the structure of the pelvic floor to weaken include: Childbirth & postpartum related issues Delivery trauma and more

3 min5 d ago
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Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Diastasis Recti Exercises

Diastasis Recti is an incredibly common injury that many people visibly notice as an indentation in the middle of the belly. The rectus abdominus muscle is a pair of muscles that run along both sides of your stomach. Diastasis is often visibly noticeable when a gap between the pair of muscles occurs. Your abs are separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba. The linea alba goes from the pubic symphysis to your xiphoid process. During pregnancy, the abdominal region expands and various experts claim that around 1/3 to 1/2 of women experience a diastasis recti injury post-pregnancy. Men can also experience DR but its much less common and often associated with hernias. If you are a man reading this blog, we suggest you read our diastasis recti exercises for men article. If you’ve noticed an abdominal bulge, linea alba stretching, muscle separation, lower back pain, leak pee, doming, invagination, or coning, you may have a diastasis. To perform a self-test, read our article on testing for diastasis, and always make sure you consult a doctor to get an expert opinion. What Exercises Can Help with Diastasis Recti? Some easy beginning steps to healing from a DR injury is to understand more about breathing, your core, and posture. They each play a surprising role in healing and in preventing injury. 1. Practice appropriate breathing patterns Though this may seem like a simple task, many people do not practice proper breathing patterns. 3D rib breathing as opposed to belly breathing helps limit the amount of stress and pressure that you add to your abdomen daily. Inconsistent or improper breathing can add additional pressure to your abdomen causing a diastasis recti. Many people are taught that diaphragm breathing means belly breathing and have excess pressure on their core wall as a result. 2. Practice good posture and free your abs from excess tension While pregnant, it can be difficult to sit-up straight without straining your abdomen and lower back. The added weight in your belly can also allow for bad posture. When rising up out of bed, don’t sit straight up. This adds unnecessary pressure to your abdomen. When sitting up in bed or trying to get out, try either rolling over on your side before rising or focus on rising using your transverse abdominal muscles (those closer to your pubic bone). 3. Understand a good / healthy / functional core strategy Approaching strength building and core function routines, it is important to do so smartly. There should be no compromises in exercise. In both One Strong Mama and in Restore Your Core I focus on strengthening your body effectively and efficiently in order for you to be able to workout without any compensation with great results.

2 min5 d ago
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Diastasis Recti Exercises

Self Testing Diastasis Recti

How to Test for Diastasis Recti? Believing you may have a diastasis recti can be a worrisome / frustrating experience. However, there is an abundance of information regarding diastasis recti recovery. We at Restore Your Core have designed a program specifically for women who are suffering from diastasis recti or other abdominal/pelvic floor issues. What is Diastasis Recti? Diastasis recti is the stretching or separation of the rectus abdominis (6 pack) muscles caused by the thinning of the linea alba (midline connective tissue). Diastasis recti separation leaves your abdominal organs unsupported, and if severe, can expose your digestive organs creating a stomach bulge. This separation can range from being isolated above the belly button, within the belly button, and below the belly button sitting above the pubic bone. In some cases, the separation emcompasses the entire mid section of the core. In both men and women, this gap can be created in the midline of your belly anywhere from the pubic bone to the base of your ribcage. During a crunch or sit-up, where one would normally feel tension and closure, there is a space in between. What Does it Look Like? Diastasis recti looks different from person to person. Although in some cases the symptoms can be painful and more present, in some people they aren’t noticeable at all. Below I address the most common and present symptoms you should be aware of in determining whether or not you may have a diastasis recti. Abdominal Bulge An abdominal bulge is not always an indication of a diastasis recti, yet, it can be a symptom. This bulge, or stomach “pooch,” occurs when the abdominal organs become unsupported by the rectus abdominis muscles. This can appear as a cone shape or ridge above and within the area located close to the belly button. However, depending on where the diastasis recti has become isolated, the bulge can range from above the belly button, on the belly button (causing the belly button to flatten), or below the belly button just above the pubic bone. Testing for Diastasis Recti A self-assessment can be performed as follows: Lie on your back in a comfortable position. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on the midline of your core with your fingers pointing straight down on your abs. If you need support for your head, place your other hand under your head and neck for support. Slowly lift your head and add minimal pressure to your fingers placed on your core. With no diastasis recti, there is the feeling of a toned wall as you lift your head up. If you feel a gap, or your fingers sink into your core, you likely have diastasis recti. In very obvious cases, you can feel the sides of your core muscles in between that gap on the left and right sides. Repeat the process for the areas just above your belly button and below your belly button to determine whether or not the diastasis recti is isolated or in your core as a whole.

2 min5 d ago
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Self Testing Diastasis Recti

Latest Episodes

Rectocele Symptoms

Rectocele Symptoms A woman’s vagina is separated from her rectum by ligaments and tissues known as the rectovaginal septum. The tissues that line this wall are called fascia. At times, due to compromised pelvic health or pelvic injuries, a woman may experience a weakness of the vaginal wall and rectovaginal septum. When this occurs, a part of the rectum can bulge and protrude into the vagina. This is called a rectocele prolapse. What is Rectocele? Rectocele is a condition which causes the supportive tissues between the rectum and the vagina to weaken. This can occur due to excess pressure in the rectum, excess vaginal pressure, or excess intra-abdominal pressure leading to pelvic floor issues such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP). When this occurs, the separating tissues can herniate causing the front wall of the rectum to bulge into the vagina. This issue is also commonly called a posterior vaginal prolapse. Oftentimes, the prolapse is small and does not pose any painful symptoms or difficulties. However, in severe cases, the bulge may manifest outside of the vaginal opening and require surgical repair. Signs and Symptoms of Rectocele In many cases, someone may have a rectocele for a long period of time without noticing any symptoms. In minor to moderate cases of symptomatic rectocele, someone may experience feelings of mild discomfort, pressure, or minor pain in the vaginal or rectal regions. This may be accompanied by a feeling of incompletion after bowel movements. In moderate to severe cases, women with a rectocele may have an increased sensation of pain and discomfort in their vagina, rectum, or abdomen while pooping. This can be a result of the feces being pushed into the rectocele during a bowel movement. Women with moderate rectocele run a higher risk of constipation, painful intercourse, and lower abdominal and lower back pain. In severe cases, the rectocele can prolapse causing the tissue to protrude out of the vaginal opening. Other symptoms of rectocele may include: A small bulge in the wall of the vaginaNeeding assistance of fingers to perform a bowel movementPressure in rectumA feeling like an “air bubble” in the vaginaPain, discomfort, or feelings of looseness during vaginal intercourse Other pelvic organ prolapse issues such as vaginal prolapse, uterine prolapse, rectal prolapse, or other issues with the pelvic floor. Rectocele is a common condition many women may face without ever knowing it. Most often it is associated with postpartum issues, but it can affect women who have never been pregnant as well. If you are experiencing severe issues such as: tissue bulging through your vaginal opening or constant struggles with constipation, it may be time to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Generally a Urogyn is the best bet for diagnosis.

2 min5 d ago
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Rectocele Symptoms

Rectocele Repair

Rectocele Repair Repair for a vaginal rectocele is pursued in order to correct the herniation or bulging of the bottom wall of the vagina. Symptoms of rectocele can become quite uncomfortable and painful over time. If left untreated, rectocele can lead to symptoms such as: the feeling of increased pressure or protrusion in the vagina or rectum, inability to defecate or feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowels, pelvic pain, and/or painful sex. Both non-surgical and surgical procedures for rectocele repair are only considered if symptoms become severe and inhibit daily life. Surgery for rectocele is typically performed transvagianally, yet, in some severe cases, may be completed both vaginally and abdominally. Why Do I Need Treatment for Rectocele? Treatment for rectocele can greatly aid in managing and reducing symptoms of rectocele or other forms of pelvic organ prolapse. In some cases, rectocele and POP may be undetectable until the condition has progressed in severity. A small rectocele is often unrecognized until a doctor notices it during a physical examination. In many cases, rectocele occurs alongside other pelvic organ related conditions. Treatment is designed to help reduce symptoms and heal any herniations, tears, or prolapses. Treatments include both surgical and non-surgical options. Although surgery for rectocele is often rare, in severe cases surgery may be your best option. Severe rectocele symptoms include: Bowels feeling full post defecationA noticeable bulge or protrusion in the vaginaInability to perform a bowel movementRectal incontinence Is Rectocele Repair Major Surgery? Rectocele repair surgery is a major, out-patient surgery. A doctor will typically only recommend surgery for rectocele if at home exercise programs and / or physical therapy has not resolved the problem. The surgical procedure for rectocele removal is called posterior colporrhaphy which removes the herniated bowel from the wall of the vagina. Rectocele surgery is designed to: Ease pain and discomfortMinimally invasive transvaginal procedureOutpatient (usually released without needing overnight stay)Quick recovery time (2-3 weeks or less on average) What is a Rectocele Repair Procedure? The procedure for rectocele repair surgery is typically a straightforward process. The surgery is often performed through the vagina (transvagianlly.. The procedure is typically performed by a surgeon making a small incision along the posterior vaginal wall. Excess tissue along the herniation is removed and stitches are sewn around the tear sight. If the doctor notices any other forms of pelvic organ prolapse, he may resolve those issues as well during the procedure. Once complete, the vaginal incisions are stitched up and packed with gauze. Please speak with your doctor for more information on this process.

3 min5 d ago
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Rectocele Repair

Prolapse Dysfunction: Rectocele Prolapse

Rectocele Prolapse Rectocele is a herniation of the tissue wall between the vagina and the rectum. Over time, this tissue wall - also known as the rectovaginal septum - can become weakened resulting in a pelvic organ hernia or pelvic organ prolapse. In this article we will discuss what a rectocele is, what the symptoms are, and how it can be treated. What is a Prolapsed Rectocele? A rectocele is a herniation, prolapse, or weakening of the rectovagianl septum (tissue wall between the rectum and the vagina). Rectocele is also commonly known as a posterior vaginal prolapse or a proctocele. This can occur as an isolated injury or gradual weakening of the tissues, or occur as a result of prolonged pelvic floor dysfunction. When the pelvic floor is weakened along with the ligaments and tissues between the vagina and the rectum, it can cause the vaginal and rectal walls to weaken and bulge leading very painful symptoms and other pelvic organ related issues. In severe cases, the vaginal or rectal walls can bulge and protrude from the vaginal opening. Other types of Pelvic Floor Prolapse There are several other types of pelvic organ prolapse that may present themselves in similar ways as rectocele: Cystocele, or anterior vaginal prolapse: occurs when a woman's bladder bulges into the vaginal wallUterine prolapse: occurs when the uterine walls become weakened or unsupported and the uterus bulges into the vaginal wall.Rectal prolapse: occurs when the rectal wall is weakened and protrudes through the anusVault prolapse: occurs when thevaginal vault (top of the vagina) bulges. Pelvic prolapses can vary greatly in their severity and at times, different types may occur simultaneously. What is the Main Cause for a Rectocele? Although the exact cause of a rectocele is unknown, it is most commonly a result of a weakened pelvic floor and often goes hand in hand with excess pelvic pressure and intra abdominal pressure. A woman's pelvic floor can become weak after undergoing physically traumatic experiences such as: childbirth through vaginal delivery, difficulties with vaginal childbirth (if forceps or a vacuum were used, vaginal tearing, or an episiotomy). It is common for women to experience some form of pelvic floor or core weakness related issue postpartum. However, women who have never been pregnant can still develop a rectocele. Other Causes of Rectocele There are several other factors that may lead someone to develop a rectocele. Posterior pelvic organ prolapse can occur as a result of increased, intra-abdominal pressure. Outside of pregnancy, other causes of rectocele and increased pelvic pressure include: Chronic constipationStraining, difficulty in performing bowel movementsChronic cough, pneumonia, or bronchitisHysterectomyPelvic region surgeryImproper heavy lifting techniquesObesityAge

3 min5 d ago
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Prolapse Dysfunction: Rectocele Prolapse

Pelvic Floor Stretches

Pelvic Floor Stretches Persistent pelvic floor pain can be difficult to endure. Pelvic floor dysfunction issues can range between hyperactivity to pelvic organ prolapse. The result of both cases can lead to painful and embarrassing symptoms for both men and women. In this article, I will address helpful exercises and stretches that help free you of painful symptoms and aid in restoring pelvic floor and core function. To be clear, stretching is just one type of input into the pelvic floor system and is not the only thing you should do for a tight / tense pelvic floor. Downtraining your pelvic floor will require a variety of loads and inputs, stretching is one important one. How to Stretch Pelvic Muscles There are several ways you can properly stretch and engage your pelvic floor in order to reduce pelvic floor tension . One of the most beneficial and important techniques that I teach my clients is 3-D breathing – a pattern of breathing that uses the rib cage expansion rather than belly expansion for an effective and efficient strategy. One of the key elements in resolving pelvic floor dysfunction and POP is breathing mechanics. In Restore Your Core, I spend a significant amount of time teaching my clients proper breathing mechanics. Often people don’t realize the way they breathe impacts the integrity of their core and pelvic floor. Yet, most of us do not even realize easily we can fall into improper breathing patterns. Most people are belly breathers. This means that while inhaling, they’re extending their abdomen – focusing the tension in their belly. An Illustration of this would look like filling an oval-shaped balloon with water and squeezing the top creating a bulge. The exact same thing happens when you belly breathe. Bulging your gut strains your core and pelvic floor by increasing intra-abdominal pressure. This tends to cause muscle and organ damage in those regions. Our pelvic floor is not designed to handle a lot of consistent pressure and stress. I spend a lot of my time with clients training them to 3-D breathe. 3-D breathing trains you to engage your diaphragm and rib cage while breathing. This means that instead of your belly extending as you inhale, your rib cage expands. Breathing in this manner reduces pressure in your core and pelvic region. Additionally, this technique encourages proper core response and engagement in your daily activities. Now that you understand proper breathing mechanics, it is time to learn how to properly stretch and exercise your core and pelvic floor. Stretches for the Pelvic Floor: Supine Pelvic Floor Stretch Lying on your back, keep your knees bent and bring them toward your chest. Slowly extend your knees to the side to stretch the inner groin. Relax your pelvic floor and butt. Remain in this position for 5 to 10 breaths and relax.

2 min5 d ago
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Pelvic Floor Stretches

Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic Floor Therapy Pelvic floor therapy is recommended for conditions where the pelvic floor and core system is not functioning optimally. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and its related conditions can be caused by many different things. These can include: InfectionsPregnancy or childbirthPoor postureTraumaChronic back painSurgery However, PFD can also seem to have no cause and present itself with a host of painful symptoms. In some women, the cause of PFD can be a result of postpartum diastasis recti. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and other tissues which form a sling from the pubic symphysis to the tailbone. Many cases of PFD stem from a lack of sufficient support from the pelvic floor. These pelvic floor muscles assist in maintaining correct posture, abdominal and pelvic organ support, and aid in bladder and bowel control as well as sexual activity. If these muscles become overactive or overused (hypertonic), the results can be quite painful and function can decrease significantly. Less often, the pelvic floor muscles are hypotonic–lacking sufficient resting tension to perform their jobs. Yet, due to the complexity of the anatomy and functions of the pelvic region, the underlying cause of pain can be difficult to determine. In this case, the whole body must be treated and physical therapy including pelvic floor exercise can greatly aid in men and women in their healing process and recovery. Why do I need pelvic floor therapy? (POP) or pelvic organ prolapse is a type of pelvic floor dysfunction in which one or more pelvic floor organs (i.e. bladder, rectum, small bowel, uterus, etc) shift toward or down into the vaginal canal. This most commonly happens withconditions like diastasis recti, which create an imbalance of muscle and ligament tension supporting the pelvic floor; many people who have POP also have a DRA. Women who experience a pelvic organ prolapse sometimes describe the occurrence as feeling like a “stuck tampon,” a heavy pelvic floor, or as bubbles in the urethra. Some other symptoms present may include: constipationpelvic pain during sexurinary/fecal incontinence Most fitness gurus try to educate their clients with core exercise routines that engage the pelvic floor and the core together. They believe that if you engage your core in any activity, you should also engage your pelvic floor. However, I believe there is a lot wrong with this routine and practice. As a trained and educated professional, I never, ever attempt to teach pelvic floor muscles to engage in exercise. Rather, it is important to train the pelvic floor to lift and release appropriately depending on the exercise and the weight. This is what I teach in my 13-week program, Restore Your Core.

2 min5 d ago
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Pelvic Floor Therapy

Is Pelvic Floor Repair Major Surgery?

Is Pelvic Floor Repair Major Surgery? Pelvic floor repair surgery is the most common surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor repair is a broad term used to classify a variety of simple, surgical procedures for repairing the pelvic floor. The three surgeries for pelvic floor prolapse include anterior repair, posterior repair, and a hysterectomy. Although Restore Your Core does not provide any surgical treatment for pelvic floor issues, my hope is that this article may answer any questions you may have regarding pelvic floor repair and the various procedures and treatments involved in getting you back to a healthy, active lifestyle. What are the Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Prolapse can affect several abdominal organs. These organs are said to prolapse if they descend into or out of the vaginal canal or anus. The medical terminology for these occurrences include: Cystocele: prolapse of the bladder into the vagina, the most common conditionUrethrocele: prolapse of the urethra (the tube that carries urine)Uterine prolapseVaginal vault prolapse: prolapse of the vaginaEnterocele: Small bowel prolapseRectocele: Rectum prolapse What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse? There are many factors that are thought to cause a prolapse. In most cases, anything that may apply or put increased pressure in the abdomen can lead to a pelvic organ prolapse. Some of the common causes may include: Pregnancy, labor, and childbirth are the most common causesObesityConnective tissue disordersRespiratory problems with a chronic, long-term coughConstipationGenetic factorsPelvic organ cancersSurgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) Diastasis recti (weakened core, connective tissues) Symptoms The symptoms of a prolapse somewhat depend on which organ has descended. If you are suffering from a bladder prolapse, urinary incontinence may occur. If it is a rectal prolapse, constipation, painful bowel movements, and painful sex often occur. Lower back pain, painful sex, and bowel obstruction or incontinence tend to accompany a small intestine prolapse as well. If you are suffering from a prolapse of the uterus, you may also suffer from uncomfortable intercourse, incontinence, and lower back pain. In some cases, there may never be signs of a prolapse or the presence of any painful symptoms. However, in others some women report symptoms ranging from: Pressure or sense of fullness in the pelvic areaLower back painPainful sexSensation of something falling out of the vaginaUrinary incontinence or frequent urinationConstipationSpotting or bleeding from the vagina In cases where there may be a severe prolapse, POP symptoms may worsen. One may notice: Bulging of the vaginal regionNeeding manual assistance during a bowel movementDifficulty urinating, spraying stream of urineThe need to lift the bulging vagina in order to urinateUrinary leakage during intercourseRecurrent UTIs or kidney infections

3 min5 d ago
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Is Pelvic Floor Repair Major Surgery?

Pelvic Floor Specialist

Pelvic Floor Specialist Pelvic floor physiotherapists help women rehabilitate their pelvic floor region. The muscle groups within the core and pelvic region can be weakened by childbirth, surgery, genetics, heavy lifting, rapid weight gain, constipation, menopause, improper breathing mechanics, and more. These muscle groups aid in supporting the uterus, bladder, and bowels. They form a slinglike grouping from the pubic bone to the front of the tailbone at the back. Damaged or weakened pelvic floors can affect bladder and bowel control, leading to urinary and rectal incontinence or even pelvic organ prolapse. At times, the pelvic floor can become overactive or hypertonic. This means that their pelvic floor muscles are overly tight and tense all of the time, even when they should be relaxed. Learning to relax and release the pelvic floor muscles (muscles contractions like the short contraction of the bulging of a bicep or long contraction, like the slow, contained stretching out of a bicep) will help ease overactivity. An overactive pelvic floor can cause many symptoms such as: back pain, pain during sex, heaviness or incontinence. What is a pelvic floor specialist? Doctors who specialize in pelvic floor dysfunction issues are called urogynecologists and physiotherapists. A urogynecologist will care for women with pelvic floor disorders by providing services that help evaluate pelvic floor health and provide primarily surgical treatments for pelvic organ prolapse. Their speciality covers the muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and nerves within the uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum. A physiotherapist or Occupational therapist who specializes in pelvic floor treatment helps treat pelvic floor issues non-surgically. This is commonly done through exercise and manual therapy as well as extended education and advice on how to properly engage and strengthen your pelvic floor. Other specialists who aid in pelvic floor therapy include movement specialists and occupational therapists. Movement therapy can play a significant part in retraining the body toward correct posture, alignment, deep-tissue manipulation, and provide educational instruction on how the body works and how it heals. What is involved in pelvic floor physical therapy? Pelvic floor therapy most commonly involves exercises and education on how to properly engage and strengthen the pelvic floor. A specialist like a physiotherapist will help instruct their clients with a range of techniques ranging from: Breathing mechanicsTherapeutic exercise & core buildingPelvic floor realignmentProper postureSymptom treatmentPhysical education Pelvic floor therapy seeks to instruct women in how their bodies work while also treating any conditions causing pain or embarrassing symptoms – like pelvic organ prolapse. When seeking treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction or POP, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

2 min5 d ago
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Pelvic Floor Specialist

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic Floor Disorder Pelvic floor issues mostly occur when the pelvic floor muscles are lacking enough tone (hypotonic) or are too “tight” (hypertonic). Some people may experience weak pelvic muscles and core muscles from an early age. Others may not notice problems until after certain stages of life such as pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause. Something many women may not realize is that when pelvic floor dysfunction is present, it is a result of over toned, too short pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor cannot function in this state. Think of it this way - you can contract muscles and make them shorter (as in a bicep curl) or you can contract it by making it longer (releasing a bicep curl). Strengthening your pelvic floor means loading it long (like a slow, controlled release of a bicep curl). Overworking these muscles and connective tissues without learning how to properly engage the various muscle groups can keep you from relaxing them fully. The most common reasons why someone may be suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction are: Excessive pelvic floor tension Pregnancy and birth ongoing constipation and straining to empty the bowels being overweight or obese if it contributes to excessive intraabdominal pressure heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym) a chronic cough or sneeze (e.g. due to asthma, smoking or hayfever) previous injury to the pelvic region (e.g. a fall, surgery or pelvic radiotherapy) growing older Although it is hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and therefore trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal muscles. A pelvic floor that is responsive to the varying loads placed on it keeps your organs functioning as they should--no more leaking pee when you sneeze. All people benefit from learning how to release and engage their pelvic floors, so that the pelvic floor reacts reflexively. What are the symptoms of tight pelvic floor muscles? Symptoms vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction include: Stress incontinence (sneeze pee) Rectal incontinence Incessant need to pee (urge incontinence) Difficulty in emptying your bladder or bowel A prolapse (in women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping) Pain in your pelvic region Pelvic muscles spasms Painful sex Hypertonic pelvic floor muscles can result in painful and embarrassing symptoms. Pelvic pain and incontinence can be uncomfortable and embarrassing at best.. However, there are ways to begin releasing and integrating your pelvic floor muscles in order to gain back control over your body. What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? Pelvic floor dysfunction causes are still being researched. However, there are some common conditions that are linked with PFD and POP. Some of the common causes for the structure of the pelvic floor to weaken include: Childbirth & postpartum related issues Delivery trauma and more

3 min5 d ago
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Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Diastasis Recti Exercises

Diastasis Recti is an incredibly common injury that many people visibly notice as an indentation in the middle of the belly. The rectus abdominus muscle is a pair of muscles that run along both sides of your stomach. Diastasis is often visibly noticeable when a gap between the pair of muscles occurs. Your abs are separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba. The linea alba goes from the pubic symphysis to your xiphoid process. During pregnancy, the abdominal region expands and various experts claim that around 1/3 to 1/2 of women experience a diastasis recti injury post-pregnancy. Men can also experience DR but its much less common and often associated with hernias. If you are a man reading this blog, we suggest you read our diastasis recti exercises for men article. If you’ve noticed an abdominal bulge, linea alba stretching, muscle separation, lower back pain, leak pee, doming, invagination, or coning, you may have a diastasis. To perform a self-test, read our article on testing for diastasis, and always make sure you consult a doctor to get an expert opinion. What Exercises Can Help with Diastasis Recti? Some easy beginning steps to healing from a DR injury is to understand more about breathing, your core, and posture. They each play a surprising role in healing and in preventing injury. 1. Practice appropriate breathing patterns Though this may seem like a simple task, many people do not practice proper breathing patterns. 3D rib breathing as opposed to belly breathing helps limit the amount of stress and pressure that you add to your abdomen daily. Inconsistent or improper breathing can add additional pressure to your abdomen causing a diastasis recti. Many people are taught that diaphragm breathing means belly breathing and have excess pressure on their core wall as a result. 2. Practice good posture and free your abs from excess tension While pregnant, it can be difficult to sit-up straight without straining your abdomen and lower back. The added weight in your belly can also allow for bad posture. When rising up out of bed, don’t sit straight up. This adds unnecessary pressure to your abdomen. When sitting up in bed or trying to get out, try either rolling over on your side before rising or focus on rising using your transverse abdominal muscles (those closer to your pubic bone). 3. Understand a good / healthy / functional core strategy Approaching strength building and core function routines, it is important to do so smartly. There should be no compromises in exercise. In both One Strong Mama and in Restore Your Core I focus on strengthening your body effectively and efficiently in order for you to be able to workout without any compensation with great results.

2 min5 d ago
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Diastasis Recti Exercises

Self Testing Diastasis Recti

How to Test for Diastasis Recti? Believing you may have a diastasis recti can be a worrisome / frustrating experience. However, there is an abundance of information regarding diastasis recti recovery. We at Restore Your Core have designed a program specifically for women who are suffering from diastasis recti or other abdominal/pelvic floor issues. What is Diastasis Recti? Diastasis recti is the stretching or separation of the rectus abdominis (6 pack) muscles caused by the thinning of the linea alba (midline connective tissue). Diastasis recti separation leaves your abdominal organs unsupported, and if severe, can expose your digestive organs creating a stomach bulge. This separation can range from being isolated above the belly button, within the belly button, and below the belly button sitting above the pubic bone. In some cases, the separation emcompasses the entire mid section of the core. In both men and women, this gap can be created in the midline of your belly anywhere from the pubic bone to the base of your ribcage. During a crunch or sit-up, where one would normally feel tension and closure, there is a space in between. What Does it Look Like? Diastasis recti looks different from person to person. Although in some cases the symptoms can be painful and more present, in some people they aren’t noticeable at all. Below I address the most common and present symptoms you should be aware of in determining whether or not you may have a diastasis recti. Abdominal Bulge An abdominal bulge is not always an indication of a diastasis recti, yet, it can be a symptom. This bulge, or stomach “pooch,” occurs when the abdominal organs become unsupported by the rectus abdominis muscles. This can appear as a cone shape or ridge above and within the area located close to the belly button. However, depending on where the diastasis recti has become isolated, the bulge can range from above the belly button, on the belly button (causing the belly button to flatten), or below the belly button just above the pubic bone. Testing for Diastasis Recti A self-assessment can be performed as follows: Lie on your back in a comfortable position. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on the midline of your core with your fingers pointing straight down on your abs. If you need support for your head, place your other hand under your head and neck for support. Slowly lift your head and add minimal pressure to your fingers placed on your core. With no diastasis recti, there is the feeling of a toned wall as you lift your head up. If you feel a gap, or your fingers sink into your core, you likely have diastasis recti. In very obvious cases, you can feel the sides of your core muscles in between that gap on the left and right sides. Repeat the process for the areas just above your belly button and below your belly button to determine whether or not the diastasis recti is isolated or in your core as a whole.

2 min5 d ago
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Self Testing Diastasis Recti
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