Diastasis Recti (Abdominal Separation)

Diastasis Recti

Article by Nadine Stewart

Diastasis Recti (Abdominal Separation)

Key Strategies for Effective Management

What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti, also known as Abdominal Separation, is a condition where the rectus abdominis muscles spread apart. This situation is most common during and following pregnancy as the abdomen expands to accommodate a growing baby.

Understanding Causes and Risks

The main trigger for Diastasis Recti is pregnancy. The condition arises due to the uterus expanding, exerting pressure on the abdominal muscles. Factors increasing the risk include maternal age, high birth weight of the baby, significant weight gain during pregnancy, and having multiple pregnancies.

Identifying Symptoms

Diastasis Recti is characterised by a noticeable gap between the abdominal muscles, an abdominal bulge during muscle tension, and possibly, lower back discomfort. These symptoms signal the widening of the muscle space.

Diagnosis Process

Diastasis Recti is diagnosed through a detailed assessment by a physiotherapist or doctor. Techniques such as manual palpation, measurement, and possibly ultrasound, help in evaluating the extent of muscle separation.

Effective Physiotherapy For Abdominal Separation Recovery

Physiotherapy as a Treatment Option

Physiotherapy is central to managing Diastasis Recti, offering:

  • Guidance on body mechanics
  • Advice on modifying lifting and exercising habits
  • Recommendations for daily activity adjustments
  • Customised exercise programmes aimed at reinforcing core stability and reducing muscle separation
  • Suggesting supportive wear for added abdominal support

Anticipated Results

A majority of individuals with Diastasis Recti witness substantial improvement or full resolution of symptoms through targeted physiotherapy, leading to enhanced core stability and function.

When Surgery Is Considered

In cases where physiotherapy does not result in desired improvement, surgery may be considered as an option to address Diastasis Recti symptoms.

Professional Consultation Is Key

For tailored management plans, consulting a physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor and abdominal conditions is crucial. Expert guidance ensures the safe and effective treatment of Diastasis Recti.


While Diastasis Recti is a common concern, especially post-pregnancy, it can be effectively addressed with physiotherapy. Early symptom recognition and seeking expert advice pave the way for successful management.

Next Steps

If Diastasis Recti affects you, reaching out to a physiotherapist is essential. They will develop a personalised plan to support your recovery and improve your abdominal health.

Related Articles

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Explore the importance of pelvic floor exercises, especially in relation to strengthening the core and abdomen area which is crucial for those dealing with Diastasis Recti.
  2. Pregnancy Back Pain: Offers insights into managing back pain during pregnancy, a common issue that can be exacerbated by abdominal separation.
  3. Pregnancy Massage: Details the benefits of pregnancy massage in managing discomfort, including areas affected by the stretching of the abdomen.
  4. Prolapse: Discusses prolapse, a condition that can be of concern alongside Diastasis Recti, especially post-pregnancy.
  5. Stress Incontinence: Provides information on managing stress incontinence, a condition that may relate to weakened abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
  6. Pre and Post-Pregnancy Exercise Prescription and Rehabilitation: Focuses on exercise regimens tailored for before and after pregnancy, which can help in strengthening the core and potentially mitigating issues related to Diastasis Recti.
  7. Mastitis/Blocked or Plugged Ducts: While primarily focused on breast conditions during breastfeeding, understanding the comprehensive approach to post-pregnancy health can be beneficial.
  8. Underactive Pelvic Floor: Offers guidance on addressing underactive pelvic floor issues, which can complement the management and recovery process for Diastasis Recti.
  9. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: Provides insights into managing SIJ issues, which can affect overall posture and core stability, indirectly relating to abdominal health.

Article by Nadine Stewart

Women's Health Physiotherapy Conditions

Addressing a diverse range of women-specific concerns, Women’s Health Physiotherapy focuses on assessing and treating various conditions. These encompass issues like constipation, faecal incontinence, mastitis, pelvic floor exercises, pregnancy-related back pain, and massages, along with concerns such as prolapse, abdominal separation, stress incontinence, and underactive pelvic floor. Moreover, the discipline encompasses managing urge faecal incontinence, urgency/overactive bladder (OAB), and urge incontinence, while also offering pre and post-pregnancy exercise prescription and rehabilitation.

More Information


Women's Health Physiotherapy Appointment FAQs

Women's Health Conditions

Women’s Health Physiotherapy incorporates the assessment and treatment of a large number of women-specific conditions including:

Q: What Should You Bring To Your Women's Health Appointment?

A: Please bring any information about your condition from your GP, medical specialists, or other healthcare providers to your appointment. Arrive 10 minutes early to complete paperwork. Alternatively, we can email you information before your appointment.

Q: What's the Appropriate Attire for Your Appointment?

A: Wear comfortable clothing for ease of movement.

Q: Will Your Appointment Information Be Kept Confidential?

A: Yes, your appointment details remain confidential. Your physiotherapist will only share with other healthcare providers if you consent. Appointments are held in private rooms for confidentiality. An exception is rectus diastasis, which may be treated in a separate area if requested.

Q: How Long Does the Appointment Last?

A: The appointment duration varies based on your condition. Initial women's health appointments usually take an hour. Mastitis and rectus diastasis appointments are typically 30 to 40 minutes. Contact our receptionist for specific details.

Q: What's the Cost of Women's Health Physiotherapy Appointment?

A: Session costs vary depending on your condition. Contact our reception for more information.

Q: Can You Claim Women's Health Physiotherapy Under Private Health Insurance?

A: Yes, bring your private health insurance card for on-the-spot claim processing.

Q: Is Your Appointment Covered by EPC/Medicare Referral?

A: Yes, we accept GP referrals under EPC guidelines. A gap payment is required after applying the Medicare rebate due to extended consultation time with your women's health physiotherapist. Contact our reception for details.

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