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Diastasis Recti (DR) is when the rectus abdominal muscles have stretched apart due to thinning of the linea alba connective tissue. This does not necessarily mean that the connective tissue between the abs is torn. There may have been some micro tearing, but usually it is just thinned, weakened and stretched out. Large tears may occur and can cause hernias. Diastasis Recti is technically a separation of 3 or more fingerwidths.
Most women get some degree of abdominal separation (usually 2 fingerwidths) after pregnancy. Women are told the tissue can heal on its own, and while they can happen for some, it does not address the lack of core coordination, strength and stability from being stretched out for nine months. Many women have genetically weaker connective tissue and thus, getting abdominal separation to heal on its own is can be very difficult. Connective tissue needs a few things to heal well (blood flow, consistency and load)
The thinned out tissue can regain tension again with smart progressive exercises and splinting. The good news is Diastasis Recti does not need to "close" all the way to regain function strength. Knowing the exact width (while helpful) is not the most importnant measurement. Instead learn how to generate tension and improve core control. This is what will help women get function back and be able to imrprove strength.
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