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How can I tell if I have diastasis recti?

Rick Olderman
Allergy
To test whether you have a significant separation of your abdominal muscles or diastasis recti, lie down on your back with your knees bent. Place your fingers over the center of your abdomen. Nod your chin to your chest and lift your shoulders just a little while contracting your abdominal muscles (you're essentially performing an abdominal crunch). Feel the distance between the left and right halves of the abdominal muscles with your fingers, starting at the top and moving down the length toward your pubic bones. It will be separated less or more depending where you are feeling along this line, so take your time to assess its whole length. Typically, the widest separation will be close to the belly button.

Is there a gap running down the middle of your stomach equal to or less than two fingers' width? If so, then you have a mild separation that will probably resolve with correct conditioning. Current wisdom states that a linea alba separation equal to or less than two finger widths is not a significant separation. My belief is that if you have back pain and are unable to generate enough abdominal tension to stabilize it, even half a finger's width is too much.

A pronounced separation wider than two and a half fingers requires more attention. If you see a small bulge protruding, this may be a herniation; you should contact your physician. In this
circumstance, exercise caution when lifting, sitting up, and performing rotating activities.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.