What is diastasis?

Diastasis rectus abdominis is a term for the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles. The rectus abdominis muscle is paired and begins at the xiphoid process of the sternum and the cartilages of the fifth, sixth and seventh rib and ends at the pubic bone in the pelvis. Along its length on both sides, it adjoins the fibrous band (linea alba) in the middle. When the muscles part, the ligament stretches laterally.

Why is diastasis a problem?

Abdominal muscles form a support system for the back and organs. If there is a gap, the support system is weakened and only the fibrous tissue has to take over. Ligament is not as good a support system as muscle. Diastasis of the abdominal muscles therefore poses a risk of problems with the spine, a protruding belly and navel, and the development of an umbilical hernia.

What causes diastasis?

The cause of the gap is the continuous stretching of the fiber to the sides and the application of force and pressure on the fiber strip, both from the inside and from the outside. The most common cause in women is pregnancy. Up to seventy percent of women who have gone through pregnancy have a diastasis, but they are often not even aware of it. So if you look pregnant, even though you are already at the same weight as before pregnancy, you most likely have diastasis recti. A protruding belly isn't fat - it's your internal organs pushing out through weakened fibrous tissue.

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