Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti is a condition in which the 2 sides of the abdominal muscle separate, as the tissue connecting them stretches. This typically happens in women during and following pregnancy due to the stretching of the abdominal wall, as the uterus expands. Physical therapy has been shown to be a highly effective approach to both the prevention and treatment of diastasis rectus abdomens.

Your rectus abdominis (the "six-pack muscles") is a pair of long, flat muscles that run vertically down each side of your abdomen. These muscles hold in your internal organs and stabilize your core.

As your belly expands during pregnancy, the connective tissue gets stretched out, allowing the rectus abdominis to pull apart and separate vertically down the middle. (Pregnancy hormones also play a role by relaxing the connective tissue to accommodate your growing baby.)


A woman with Diastasis Recti may experience any number of the following symptoms:

  • A visible and palpable (detected by touch) separation of the rectus abdominis muscle.
  • Feelings of “flabbiness” in the abdominal muscles.
  • Pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction that causes urinary or bowel problems (incontinence, leakage, constipation, etc)
  • Low back or pelvic or hip pain.
  • Poor posture.
  • Feeling weak through the midsection.

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