Diastasis of Recti Abdominis Muscles AKA abdominal separation AKA the gap between your 6 pack muscles which often forms as a result of pregnancy. That is what DRAM is; ‘Diastasis’ meaning separation and ‘recti’ referring to your ab muscles. But why do we hear so much about it and why is it important? Read on!
Babies need space, so as they develop in the womb and get bigger and bigger, so too does Mum’s tum! Luckily Mum’s body is AMAZING and can adapt and change allowing bubs to get the space he or she needs! One of these superpowers is the ability for the abdominal muscles to separate. Don’t worry, they’re still joined together, just the connective tissue that joins the sides together, called the “linea alba”, thins and allows the gap between the right and left “6 pack” muscles to widen. How cool!
Picture this, you’re growing bubs, belly is getting bigger, ribs are flaring, abdominal muscles are separating- your body is doing all the right things! Then VOILA! Out comes baby! Now what?
DRAM appears to spontaneously improve and can even fully resolve, in the early weeks postpartum for some women. For others the distance between the 2 sides of the abdominal muscles can persist which is where we as Physiotherapists come in!
A gap of 2 finger width was considered the “goal” when treating DRAM as this distance is normal for the postpartum population. However, these days we are less concerned about gap width and more focused on function and endurance. These two factors relate to the tension of the linea alba. If it’s soft and squishy, less force will be produced and transferred across from side to side compared to if the band is firm and taut. This can affect the ability to rotate side to side and do activities such as a sit up. Therefore, during an assessment we will not only assess the width of separation but also the tension across this gap and how/if this changes if you contract other muscles at the same time.
Diastasis recti illustration from thecuriouscoconut.com
Another main problem postpartum Mum’s have with DRAM is body image. We are here to give you all the information and advice as well as personalise and tailor exercise programs to ensure you feel like the superwoman you are!
If you’re a Mum, to tiny tots, toddlers and/or teenagers and you want to learn more about your body so you can use it to the best of its ability! Call 8682 6665 and book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists today!