Osteopathic Management of Diastasis Recti

Hampstead Osteopathy Treatments

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Osteopathic Management of Diastasis Recti

The postpartum journey is a time of immense joy, but also significant physical changes. One such change, diastasis recti (DR), can present challenges for new mothers. DR occurs when the two halves of the rectus abdominis muscles separate along the abdominal midline, leading to discomfort, weakness, and concerns about appearance. However, osteopathic care offers a safe and gentle approach to managing diastasis recti postpartum, helping you regain comfort and confidence as you heal and adapt to motherhood.

Understanding Diastasis Recti (DR) Postpartum:

Several factors contribute to diastasis recti following childbirth, including:


  • Muscle Stretching: The rapidly growing uterus during pregnancy stretches the abdominal wall, placing strain on the connective tissue separating the rectus abdominis muscles.
  • Hormonal Changes: Relaxin, a hormone released during pregnancy, loosens ligaments and connective tissues, potentially contributing to increased separation.
  • Delivery: The birthing process itself can further stress the abdominal muscles, especially during pushing or assisted delivery.

Symptoms of Diastasis Recti Include:

  • Visible doming: A bulge appearing in the midline of the abdomen when engaging core muscles like coughing or lifting.
  • Lower back pain: The weakened core can lead to increased stress on the lower back.
  • Weakness: Difficulty with activities that utilize core strength, such as lifting or turning in bed.
  • Postural changes: Altered posture as the body attempts to compensate for the weakened core.

How Osteopathic Treatment Can Help:

Osteopathic treatment for diastasis recti postpartum offers a non-invasive and supportive approach to managing discomfort and promoting core health. Here’s how:

  • Improved Muscle Tone and Support: Osteopaths use gentle techniques to stimulate and improve tone in the surrounding abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, providing additional support and reducing strain on the separated rectus abdominis muscles.
  • Scar tissue management: If scar tissue has formed from childbirth, osteopaths can apply techniques to promote tissue mobility and reduce potential restrictions that may worsen DR.
  • Postural Correction: Osteopaths can identify and address postural imbalances contributing to DR. They can then provide guidance on exercises and techniques to improve posture, alleviating stress on the core and promoting proper alignment.
  • Breathing Techniques: Specific breathing exercises can be taught to help engage the diaphragm and other core muscles, promoting stability and reducing pressure on the separated rectus abdominis muscles.

Benefits of Osteopathic Treatment Postpartum:

  • Pain Management: While not directly addressing the separation itself, osteopathic treatment can help manage pain associated with DR, like lower back pain.
  • Improved Function: Better core support and reduced pain can enhance your ability to perform daily activities and care for your baby with greater ease.
  • Promoting Relaxation: Gentle techniques can promote relaxation and reduce stress, both crucial for postpartum well-being.
  • Education and Guidance: Osteopaths can provide valuable education and guidance on managing DR throughout your postpartum recovery and beyond.

Remember: Early intervention is key. By seeking osteopathic treatment for diastasis recti postpartum, you can take proactive steps towards managing your symptoms and promoting optimal core health on your journey back to well-being.

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