Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA)
What Is Diastasis Recti Abdominis?
Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA) refers to the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis, measured by a separation wider than 2.7cm between the left and right recti muscles. This is a very common condition with 80% of women developing DRA in the third trimester of pregnancy and 50% of mothers continue to suffer from this condition after childbirth.
Orchard Clinic is the leading Diastasis Recti treatment in Singapore, focusing on long-lasting results by addressing the root cause by focusing on strengthening and stabilising the deep muscles using the latest FDA approved technology. Contact us today to learn more to find out if our DRA treatment is suitable for you.
What causes Diastasis Recti Abdominis?
Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA) is caused by the stretching of one’s connective collagen tissue due to excessive inner-abdominal pressure. Across the months of pregnancy, the mother’s abdominal area stretches naturally to accommodate the growing uterus, leading to the stretching of the linea alba, which is the connective tissue holding the recti muscles together.
DRA occurs in both pregnant and postpartum women, and seeking prompt Diastasis Recti treatment in Singapore is now available with advanced treatment technology. Some risk factors that can make DRA more likely to occur include:
- Having a larger baby, twins or a large amount of amniotic fluid
- Multiple childbirths
- Being pregnant over the age of 35
- Intense pushing during childbirth
- Improper breathing during childbirth
- Weak pre-pregnancy abdominal muscles
- Overuse of abdominal muscles during the third trimester
Pregnancy and DRA
The rectus abdominis, commonly known as the six-pack muscle, has a fibrous cord and connective tissue running down the centre, which is known as the linea alba. Pregnancy simultaneously stretches the abdominal muscles to accommodate the growing baby while releasing natural pregnancy hormones to loosen the connective tissue. These combinative actions frequently weaken and separate the recti muscles, resulting in a widening of the centre cord and giving the appearance of a pooch, colloquially known as a ‘Mummy Tummy’.
During the second and third trimester of pregnancy, DRA may appear as a noticeable bulge or ridge developing on the belly. While some degree of separation is normal, over-separation can result in a weakened core and back or pelvic pain. A detailed DRA assessment can be done to accurately measure the severity of recti muscle separation.
The rectus abdominis is a key member of the abdominal muscle team. Having a diastasis can affect healthy bodily functions and risk conditions such as:
Diastasis Recti Abdominis Treatment in Singapore
In many cases, DRA can naturally go away on its own approximately 8 weeks following childbirth. However, if symptoms continue to persist, they are unlikely to go away on their own, and will require intervention. To treat DRA, the core team of muscles must be retrained to their optimal lines of performance through HIFEM technology and various exercises, allowing the body to regain its healthy coordination. To prevent DRA, recti muscles must be stabilised and strengthened early through customised strengthening exercises early in pregnancy, avoiding further debilitation and development of DRA.
The Core team
The transverse abdominal muscle (TVA) is the deepest abdominal layer and can be imagined as the body’s internal corset. A strong TVA pulls the rectus abdominis together and is critical to DRA recovery. Until their stretched soft tissues heal, working the other three muscles should be secondary to the TVA. As such, avoid straining these abdominal muscles as it will continue to pull the muscles apart at the center. These include actions such as:
- Heavy lifting
- Oblique and straight crunches
- Sit ups
- Leg lowering exercises
- Plank-type position
A customized strengthening routine
A treatment plan reestablishing the Core team (ie. The Diaphragm, Pelvic floor, Transverse abdominis (TVA) and Deep back muscles) is required to successfully treat DRA. Orchard Clinic employs HIFEM technology with targeted, individualized exercises to efficiently remove unhealthy substitution patterns and the induced damage of pregnancy and childbirth.
By focusing electromagnetic energy to the treatment area, High Intensity Focused Electromagnetic Therapy enables supramaximal contractions that effectively re-educate the muscles and form healthier muscle memory. At a high level of intensity and repetition that is impossible without the use of medical devices, the positively influenced tissues can safely and quickly restore the body to their lines of optimal functionality.
To enhance the depth, authenticity and sustainability of recovery, it is critical to develop body awareness and mindful movement. Every body responds to stress differently, and therefore every mommy contracts different substitution patterns (eg. Anterior vs Posterior pelvic tilt) through pregnancy. These patterns will go on to inform and differ their body’s reaction to any later core exercises. Through observation of the individual body, we offer exclusive 1-to-1 floorwork that inspires functional movements and patterns into daily life for a complete treatment.
Orchard Clinic is a new treatment concept offering a unique method that provides high-quality conservative solutions for women’s postpartum body recovery.
As a postpartum assessment centre, we offer a full assessment for common conditions after childbirth.
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