What it is
Diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) is a condition where the two sides of the rectus abdominis (your “6-pack”) separate. It is a natural part of the end-stages of pregnancy due to the abdomen growing faster than the muscles are able to stretch. It only becomes a problem if it does not resolve on its own after delivery.
How it is treated with physical therapy
Therapist’s primary focus will be on core stabilization while approximating the sides of the muscles. Therapist will likely use manual therapy techniques to decrease an myofascial adhesions restricting the tissue as well.
This condition is typically not seen in isolation, so expect therapist to explore many other conditions relating to the musculoskeletal system that could be involved.
Prevention is the best way to treat this condition. There is a lot you can do during pregnancy to decrease your chances of ending up with a DRA. Please see my Preventative Prenatal Visit page for more information.
You will be given exercises to increase your core stabilization and will be taught how to approximate the two sides of the rectus abdominis at home. These exercises will focus on the transversus abdominis muscle in order to close the gap.
How many sessions
I am able to give you all the exercises over as little as two 1 hour visits, spread out at whatever frequency you desire. Therapy can last for longer than the two visits if you find the manual therapy piece to be a key part of finding relief. In that case, therapy can go on as long as you feel you need it to.