Diastasis Recti And Hernia | What's The Difference & How To Treat?

diastasis recti hernia
Diastasis recti vs hernia

Do you feel a gap between your abdominal muscles but couldn't figure out if it's diastasis recti or Hernia? Don't worry we got you.

Remember Diastasis recti and hernia both are common after pregnancy and are curable.

You might be wondering what's the difference between a diastasis recti and hernia. It all comes down to how severe the condition of your diastasis recti is; in extreme cases, it can lead to the formation of a hernia. To help you better understand both conditions and find out how they can be treated, let's take an in-depth look at them below!

What is diastasis recti and what are the possible causes?

Diastasis recti is a condition in which the rectus abdominis muscle seperates, or widens, during pregnancy. It is a common condition that occurs when the growing uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen, causing them to separate. This can create a gap of several inches between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscles. The gap is called diastasis and can look like a bulge, typically in the upper abdomen.

Diastasis Recti can be caused by a variety of factors. Pregnancy is the most prevalent, although it can also happen to anyone including newborn babies or men. Individuals who are overweight, have a persistent cough or performed unsafe abdominal exercises, or lift heavy weights incorrectly may also develop diastasis recti.

variations of Diastasis recti

What is a hernia and what are the possible causes?

Hernia Image

A hernia is a condition in which an organ or tissue protrudes through a weak point or opening in the muscle or surrounding tissue that normally contains it. Hernias can occur in various parts of the body, but are most common in the abdominal area and people who have it often experience pain where the bulge is.

An umbilical hernias is a type of hernia that occurs near the belly button and may involve the protrusion of fat or intestine through the connective tissue in the abdominal wall. Abdominal hernias can be caused by straining during bowel movements or urination, persistent coughing or sneezing, heavy lifting, obesity, pregnancy, a family history of hernias, and previous abdominal surgery.

Recommended treatments for diastasis recti

1) Exercise:

Diaphragmatic breathing exercise for DR
Core building exercises

  • Core-building exercises can help strengthen and tone the muscles in the abdomen, which may help improve the appearance of diastasis recti and reduce symptoms such as bulging or pouching in the abdominal area.
  • Diaphragmatic breathing, standing pushups, and the bridge pose are all exercises that can help target the core muscles and improve their strength and endurance. These exercises may also help improve posture, balance, and stability, and may help reduce the risk of back pain.
  • It is important to consult with a healthcare provider or physical therapist before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have a medical condition or have recently given birth.

2) Surgery:

Hernia surgery
Surgery for hernia

  • Hernia repair surgery is a common treatment for hernias, and it involves surgical repair to close of the weak point or opening in the muscle or surrounding tissue to prevent further protrusion of the organ or tissue.
  • In some cases, surgery may be considered for individuals with severe rectus diastasis who are unable to perform normal activities as a result of the gap between their rectus abdominis muscles. However, surgical treatment is not typically recommended for individuals with mild diastasis recti, as it can often be treated with exercise and other non-invasive methods.

3) Treatment with an EMS machine:

Kim Kardashian and Emsculpt
Treatment with an EMS machine:

Diastasis recti is a condition in which the abdominal muscles separate after birth. Surgery is not the only way to repair this problem. Surgery might result in a significant amount of downtime whereas EMS treatments offer a non-invasive solution.

The popular EMS machines are Tesla Former, EmShape and other brands, which we write about in our article below:
" EmShape, Tesla Former and other brands - What’s The Difference?"

Or if you are more of an experiential person that prefers to try it instead of reading about it, we sometimes have 2x free trials available here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Diastasis Recti Serious?

For most, diastasis recti is not a dangerous or harmful condition. However, many people experiencing diastasis recti have frustrating side effects as they can be either cosmetic, emotional, functional, or all three. Some of the side effects includes Belly pooch.

Is Divarication Of Recti A Hernia?

No. Divarication of recti is the separation of your rectus abdominis. Hernia is the protrusion of internal organs through the muscle wall. For extreme cases of diastasis recti, complications may include umbilical hernia.

Various stages of abdomen separation seen in patients

What Causes Diastasis?

In some people, excess pressure causes diastasis recti. When pregnancy is over, the abdominals and connective tissue stretch. Women get Relaxin hormone to which the muscle gets softened and widened which allows the connective tissue to stretch and separate much easier.

What Happens If Diastasis Recti Goes Untreated?

Until treatment has begun, diastasis recti can cause pelvic floor dysfunction, back, poor posture and pelvic pain. If diastasis recti is left untreated it may also cause umbilical hernia.

What Is Diastasis Recti Caused By?

Diastasis recti occur when a muscle in the abdomen has been separated by excessive stress. In many instances, pregnancy or heavy lifting can cause Diastasis recti. It will typically heal itself or physiotherapists and EMS treatments are available as an option to treat this.

What Causes Diastasis Recti In Males?

Diastasis recti are commonly seen in women post pregnancy but can also be seen in men due to improper exercise and weight lifting.

Can Diastasis Recti Affect Men?

Yes, Diastasis recti can affect anyone including men, but in men, diastasis recti can be due to improper exercise and can lead to a lot of other serious problems like erectile dysfunction.

Can You Do Anything About Diastasis Recti While Pregnant?

The majority of women have this problem while pregnancy occurs. The condition can be improved by removing and strengthening the deep core muscles and abdominal wall with the help of several abdominal exercises. Moms into fitness show us how!

Do I Have Diastasis Recti Or Am I Just Fat?

When you think you are suffering abdominal injuries from pregnancy it is possible that it may be caused by a torn abdominal muscle in the abdomen. Usually, when you put a couple of fingers pressed around your navel area, and you feel the gap of ~2 fingers between the abs muscle, it may be diastasis recti.

How Common Is Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy?

Diastasis recti mean your belly is stretched as a result of the left-right-sided muscle expansion. This is a widespread problem among ladies during pregnancy. It affects almost half of pregnant females.

How Do I Know If I Have Diastasis Recti?

Place your hand on your belly button with your fingers pressing down the midline of your belly button and measure how far apart your rectus muscles are. Check if there are gaps (~ 2 fingers or more) around the abdominal wall muscles.

How Do You Fix Diastasis Recti Hernia?

Diastasis recti may be treated with physical therapy, at-home exercises, or EMS treatments. For severe cases, it may be repaired using invasive surgery such as abdominal tucks. Surgery is performed when cases of hernia happen.