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Diastasis Recti Women's Health Physiotherapy

Diastasis recti, also known as Diastasis recti abdominis (DRA) is a separation of the rectus abdominal muscles at the linea alba. It can occur as a result of prolonged transverse stresses on the linea alba in women during pregnancy, Post-menopausal women and men.

Effect of pregnancy on Diastasis Recti

During pregnancy, the linea alba has to accommodate a growing fetus, consequently the line alba softens causing an increase in the width of the linea alba (inter-rectus distance or IRD). This tends to be experienced by women in their third trimester.

What is the linea alba?

There are two rectus abdominis muscle heads which run parallel to each other and are separated by connective tissue in the middle of the body which is the linea alba.

How do I know if I have Diastasis recti? (DRA)

Confirmation of a DRA comes from assessing the inter-rectus distance.

If the therapist can place two or more finger widths (approx. 2cm) in the sulcus between the medial borders of the rectus abdominus muscles, then the patient may be presenting with a DRA. This palpation can be sufficient in detecting the presence of or absence of diastasis recti.

How is Diastasis recti abdominis (DRA) managed?

  1. Patient education: It is important to understand how generating tension in the connective tissue (linea alba) by working the tranversus abdominis and pelvic floor alongside retraining of the diaphragm function helps to strengthen the core.

  2. Pelvic Floor exercises (Kegel exercises): can help strengthen the deep abdominal muscles because all the core muscles contract as a cohesive group. We encourage pelvic floor exercises to be performed throughout pregnancy and post-partum too!

  3. Breathing exercises: help to retrain the diaphragm by training it to descend after giving birth. During pregnancy, as the uterus grows, the diaphragm is pushed upwards. Since the diaphragm forms the top of the core muscles, the breathing exercises help to retrain the diaphragm to full function.

  4. Core strengthening exercises: help to improve pelvic alignment, tone the abdominals, develop dynamic stability and train the synergistic functioning between the external and internal layers of the abdominal wall

  5. Avoiding sit-ups and crunches: these types of exercises can put a strain on the pelvic floor and can increase intra-abdominal pressure. It is best to avoid these during pregnancy and in the post-partum period.

  6. Completing activities of daily living without increasing abdominal pressure.

  7. Postural awareness: helps women to become aware of certain stresses on their body in certain positions and how to minimize rigidity in the upper spine and over-using the wrong muscles.

  8. Using abdominal binders: these can be helpful in the post-partum period, however the wrong use of them can also cause problems, so it is best to seek the advice of a qualified Physiotherapist specializing in Diastasis recti.

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Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to

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Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.


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Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and  shorten downtime / recovery period required.

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.

Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.


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At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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