“The Bulge”- Abdominal Separation, AKA Diastasis Recti

Female pregnant belly

What You Need to Know About Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti is a separation of your outer abdomen muscles, which support your back and protect your organs. The term is Latin for “separation” and “recti” is the plural term for the rectus muscle, commonly known as your abs.

When the muscles separate they become weaker, making it difficult for your core to perform its main role of protecting your organs and supporting your back. It is also commonly referred to as “the mom tummy” and “abdominal muscle separation.”

Women often experience Diastasis Recti after pregnancy, and it can get worse with each birth, although this medical issue appears in both men and women. During pregnancy the abdomen expands as much as two or three inches to accommodate a baby.

The internal pressure that causes Diastasis Recti can come from other things too. Female and male athletes and obese individuals are also at risk. Even something as simple as picking up a box that is too heavy, or performing an exercise incorrectly can trigger the issue.

The most telling sign of Diastasis Recti is a protruding belly. Other obvious signs are an “outie” belly button and a stomach with an abnormal bulge that is more evident when you lift your arms up; many describe the look as a half-inflated football.

Myths About Abdominal Separation

The following statements are NOT true of abdominal separation:

  • The bulge is permanent and cannot be reversed: FALSE
  • Surgery is the only way to lessen the bulge and repair the abdominal tissue: FALSE
  • It is a painful medical condition: FALSE
  • It happens to every pregnant woman and will go away on its own: FALSE

Determining If You Have Diastasis Recti

Use the videos tutorials and step-by-step guide below to determine if you have Diastasis Recti.

Step 1: Lay on a flat surface, like the floor or your bed.

Step 2: Using two fingers touch just above your belly button with your fingers pointing toward your toes.

Step 3: Slightly lift your head and feel the muscle flex (leave your shoulders on the bed or floor)

Step 4: Rotate your fingers to the left and then the right to determine how many “finger lengths” it takes to fill the space.

If you are not pregnant, it should only take about a finger and a half to fill the space on each side. Check out these video tutorials for a better sense of how to perform the self-test:

Reversing Your Stomach Bulge

Tupler Technique® is the only research-based exercise program proven to effectively treat Diastasis Recti. In fact, there is not much treatment information available about Diastasis Recti. It remains an unexplored area of medicine, but the Tupler Technique® is helping thousands of people get relief from Diastasis Recti.

The technique is a four-step program aimed at healing the weakened tissues around your abs. This is done by wearing a splint and participating in a series of exercises over an 18-week period.

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