Diastasis in Grand Rapids

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Diastasis Recti in GRAND RAPIDS

Living with abdominal separation, or diastasis recti, can be stressful and uncomfortable. The gap between your abdominal muscles causes your belly to stick out, you may deal with back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction, and you don’t have the core strength you need for daily activities. If you’re a woman struggling with diastasis recti in the Grand Rapids area, pelvic floor physical therapy at Vitality At Home can help. Our experienced women’s health physical therapists are specially trained to treat diastasis recti and rebuild core strength.

What Exactly is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti occurs when the left and right sides of the rectus abdominis muscle (your “six-pack” muscles) spread apart, stretching the connective tissue between them. This causes the belly to bulge outward. Pregnancy is the most common cause, but factors like weight changes, certain exercises, and genetics can also play a role. Up to 60% of pregnant women develop diastasis recti by their third trimester. Over 25% still have it a year after childbirth. So if you look pregnant even though your baby was born months or years ago, diastasis recti could be the reason.

Other symptoms include:

  • Back pain and pelvic pain
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Core weakness
  • Poor posture
  • Aches when lifting objects or exercising

Diastasis recti is NOT the same as a hernia. The rectus abdominis muscle stays intact – it just separates down the middle. A hernia involves a hole or tear that allows internal tissue/organs to poke through. Left untreated, diastasis recti tends to worsen over time. And core weakness, pelvic floor dysfunction, and back pain can seriously impact your quality of life. The good news? With the right pelvic floor physical therapy program focused on core rehabilitation, most cases of diastasis recti can drastically improve or be reversed.

How Pelvic Floor PT Helps Diastasis Recti in GRAND RAPIDS

At Vitality At Home, our women’s health physical therapists use a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to treat diastasis recti. We’ll perform an in-depth evaluation, then develop a customized treatment plan addressing your core weakness, muscle imbalances, posture, breathing patterns – all the factors related to your separation.

Your program will include:

  • Core stabilization exercises to bring the abdominal muscles back together, rebuild strength, and restore function
  • Breathing retraining to properly brace and support the core during movement
  • Postural correction and body mechanics to alleviate back strain and enhance alignment
  • Manual therapy to improve muscle tissue quality and mobility around the abdomen and pelvis
  • Pelvic floor rehabilitation to resolve bladder, bowel, or sexual dysfunction

We’ll continually monitor your progress with ultrasounds and measurements to tweak your program as needed. And we’ll collaborate closely with your OB-GYN, trainer, or other providers to ensure seamless, well-rounded care. Diastasis recti therapy requires an extremely customized, individualized approach. So we start by listening closely to YOU – your symptoms, daily habits, needs, responsibilities, goals and more. Together we’ll pinpoint every relevant factor to address through rehab.

Benefits of Pelvic Floor PT for Diastasis Recti

Our cutting-edge techniques and women’s health expertise set Vitality At Home apart from “one-size-fits-all” therapy programs. Diastasis recti patients see life-changing results, including:

  • Closing of the separated abdominal gap: On average, patients reduce rectus diastasis by at least 2.5 cm through our integrated treatment protocols.
  • Pain reduction: With a stronger, properly functioning core and healthy alignment, most patients experience significantly less back, hip and pelvic pain.
  • Improved posture, balance and stability: A strong core enhances movement efficiency, balance and stability for everyday activities plus recreation and exercise.
  • Restored urinary/fecal continence: We address any related pelvic floor dysfunction to reduce leaking and urgency.
  • Less strain on the spine, hips and pelvis: Proper core and breathing mechanics significantly reduce compensation patterns and strain throughout the body.
  • Lasting results: We equip patients with customized “mine for life” core and breathwork programs to maintain gains from therapy long-term.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Diastasis Recti Program

How long do the pelvic floor PT sessions last?
Our initial evaluations last 60-90 minutes for in-depth assessment, background, goal-setting and treatment planning. Follow-up sessions run 30-60 minutes depending on each patient’s particular needs.

What happens during the pelvic floor PT sessions?
That varies depending on each patient’s condition and stage of recovery. But common treatments include manual therapy to improve tissue mobility, neuromuscular re-education for proper core bracing, specific exercises to bring rectus muscles together, breathing retraining, postural correction, pelvic floor rehab for leakage/pain, and more. We also spend time educating patients to better understand their bodies and the rehabilitation process.

What if I feel uncomfortable or embarrassed during the sessions?
Your comfort and privacy are our top priorities. We only expose what actually needs to be treated, explaining everything in advance. You are welcome to bring a trusted friend or partner into the treatment room too. We create a safe, judgment free environment focused wholly on your recovery goals.

Meet Your Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Team

Your diastasis recti recovery is overseen by lead therapist Karen, PT. They direct our diastasis pelvic floor program and have advanced certification. We look forward to helping you finally resolve your diastasis recti and get your life back!

About The Author

Jenna Smith, a Physical Therapist, empowers patients to unlock their full potential in Physical Therapy. Years of experience fuel their passion for helping individuals reclaim vibrant lives. At Vitality At Home in Grand Rapids, Jenna Smith combines innovative techniques with personalized care, tackling a broad spectrum of physical challenges.

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Liz Canterbury

Jenna is just amazing! She has me doing so much better than before! Try this company, they are doing great things to help the baby-boomers. 

Barbara Gordon

Jenna is an excellent physical therapist and has helped George maintain his strength and balance as much as is possible.