Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA)

Ever wonder why you still look pregnant months after giving birth or there is an odd bulge in
your abdomen when you try to sit up. There is a good chance that you have what is called a
diastasis recti abdominis (DRA).

What is it:
A diastasis recti is when there is a separation of the rectus abdominis (the six pack muscle)
muscle during pregnancy or weight gain. A DRA can also occur with any blunt trauma (i.e.
kickboxing) to the abdomen. The connective tissue (linea alba) holding the two muscle bellies
together at the midline of the abdomen are stretched or torn when the belly expands and grows.
This separation allows your abdominal contents to “pooch” when there is an increase in
intra-abdominal pressure.


Why does it matter?
This interruption of the abdominal muscle can lead to decreased core stability and contribute to
increased back pain, urinary incontinence, constipation, pelvic and hip pain as well as painful

Since traditional crunches and abdominal strengthening exercises can worsen a DRA, the help
of a physical therapist is needed to help lessen and restore the rectus abdominus to its original
position and strength. The rectus abdominis is also not the only abdominal muscle involved with
a DRA. A trained therapist will be able to teach you the right treatments to help minimize the

Treatments may include:

  • DRA correction exercises
  • Myofascial release or other techniques to address adhesions in the tissues
  • Abdominal stretches
  • Core and pelvic strengthening
  • Abdominal binder
  • Taping
  • Postural corrections

If you feel that you have a DRA feel free to call us today so we can set you up with a specialized physical therapist to address your needs.