Rectus Diastasis and Pelvic Health Physiotherapy

Rectus Diastasis and Pelvic Health Physiotherapy

A Rectus Diastasis is a separation in the rectus abdominis. It most often occurs during pregnancy. Sometimes it will spontaneously correct following birth, but it does not always. If you lift your head while lying on your back and the center of your belly protrudes out, you may have a rectus diastasis. Newborn babies also can have this belly spread, and it should go away on its own.

Men can get it, possibly from yo-yo dieting, from doing sit-ups or weightlifting the wrong way, or from other causes. This is the same issue that creates other pelvic and abdominal problems including hernia and prolapse. To do a self-test for diastasis recti, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your fingertips across your midline and parallel to your waist at you navel. Place your other hand behind your head and lift your head up while gently pressing your fingertips down. If you don’t feel the space between your muscles narrowing, or your fingers sink into the gap, you may have a diastasis.


Crunches, sit-ups, oblique (twists) combined with crunches, pivoting at the hip and placing strain on the abdominals – such as straight leg lifts or holds from lying on your back and similar Pilates moves should be avoided.

How does Pelvic Physiotherapy Help?

The transversus abdominis muscle is the deepest abdominal muscle, and has strong fascial links with the rectus abdominis muscle. Activation and exercise of the transversus abdominis muscle draws the bellies of the rectus abdominus muscle together, increases fascial tension, Potentially, transversus abdominis muscle activation may help to prevent or reduce Diastasis rectus and speed up recovery, allowing women to return to their usual physical and social activities more quickly. Before enacting any exercises, self diagnosis, always talk to your personal health care provider who has all of your health care information.