Our Gyno HealthOur Skin

New Fix for the Problem of Abdominal Muscle Separation: No Surgery Involved

Diastasis Recti: (also known as abdominal muscle separation) is commonly defined as the gap between the two large abdominal muscles of roughly an inch (in some hospitals they say actually 2.7 cm or greater) between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle.

This is defined when the two large abdominal midline muscles known as the rectus muscles have an abnormal split between them. Women with this condition can be uncomfortable, and it can make the abdomen appear to have an irregular bulge.

Rectus diastasis is a simple separation, it is NOT A HERNIA. The internal contents of the abdomen are not at risk to come out or become trapped, it is not an emergency medical problem.

When you do a sit up and have this condition there is a separate bulge between the muscles that can be seen.

Normally they are separated by a white line of connective tissue known as the linea alba. The strength of this linea alba tissue, the thickness of it, and whether the tissue leaves any actual gap between the muscles determines it’s effectiveness at both holding in our organs, and giving us the flat tummy we like.

At one point in the linea alba it is formed by the fusion of several layers of the abdomen including the external muscle, the internal oblique muscles and the transverse abdominis fusion point.

Small separations are not a medical concern.

Pregnancy is a common cause in women. By the 35th week of a normal 40 week pregnancy 100% of women will have rectus diastastis.

In men a common cause of rectus diastasis is abdominal obesity. In both, men and women, too much weight loss and resulting sag due to nutritional defects is a common cause. It is lateral force that seems to produce the separation in men.

Preemptive exercise can be effective at preventing diastasis. This is very important, what your program is, and how you work up to that core strength, can make prevention of rectus diastasis much less likely.

Weak, thin, aged muscles can cause abdominal wall looseness with or without too much separation between the rectus abdominal muscles themselves.

Over the age of 45 the rectus distance increases in the average person, again working on your core as you get older can prevent this natural laxity from happening.

When you go to your physician to be evaluated, you may here some conflicting information Physician experts argue about how much separation is ‘normal’, some physicians use 2 cm and some 2.7. The muscle is large and at what point to measure is debated.  Some don’t measure the specific gap point but just determine if inner organs are protruding through the gap.

During pregnancy most women will get a tiny gap that forms, about .5 cm (but even up to almost 1.0 cm is fairly common). These gaps that are small don’t cause pregnancy symptoms, and mostly won’t cause symptoms after birth as well

One study measuring childbearing women at 3 weeks after delivery showed a woman can have symptoms if she’s got a gap of only a bit over 1.5 cm.

The diagnosis is not necessarily complex. Usually a physician examination can determine if you have this condition, and an ultrasound can confirm the condition.

Until now various surgeries have been used to the correct the condition. The surgeries are generally very safe and effective.

Now there is a non-invasive way to strengthen your core, specifically the rectus muscles. The Emsculpt technology, performed with electromagnetic current, has been used to correct the muscle gaps. Emsulpt may help some women avoid surgery, and it helps all women strengthen their core. If you want some fat reduction, or reduction of visceral fat, consider Emsculpt Neo. Come to Hada Cosmetic Medicine or Women’s Health Practice for a consultation to see if this therapy would be appropriate for you.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *