Diastasis recti is a condition where the abdominis muscles of the rectus have separated and no longer run parallel down and up to the pubic bone from the breastbone. The bulge which goes up the centre of the abdomen is called the diastasis. The gap that could exist in between either side of the muscle called the rectus abdominis is known as diastasis recti.
The Greek interpretation of the word diastase is to separate. You can actually see a fracture if the patient does a sit up. Women who are pregnant are more inclined to suffer from this condition, but diastasis may also occur in men.
While this condition does not lead to death, it may bring all sorts of distress along with it. A diastasis recti appears like a ridge, running from the underside of the breastbone to the belly button, which can be so long as 2.7 cm.
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Diastasis recti in both women and men can lead to constipation, leaking of urine and back pain in the lower part. In some cases, people find it difficult to breathe and move around normally. It can also lead to hernia.
Premature babies are often born with this condition. Toddlers can be diagnosed with diastasis recti since the development of their rectus abdominis is not complete.
When exercises are carried out in the wrong way, it may result in diastasis recti. When a person lifts weights or does sit ups, crunches, press ups, front planks vigorously in the incorrect manner it may cause diastasis. Swimming and certain yoga poses like the downward dog can worsen the condition.
This condition may be corrected by doing exercises that increase abdominal strength. When diastasis recti cannot be corrected through exercises, one has to resort to cosmetic surgery. In such a case abdominoplasty is done. In this process the excess fat and skin is removed from the lower and middle abdomen. This results in a tighter abdominal wall.