Diastasis Recti – My Diagnosis

Imagine waking up one morning and not being able to get out of bed the way you normally do? It’s no longer a quick sit up, feet out and off to your day. But instead, when you try there is a pain running down the front of your abdomen and into your hips.

Instead, you try and roll to the side, hoping that won’t trigger the pain. Only to find a different kind of pain radiating down your front and side again into your pelvis. To say the least, I freaked and tried to figure out what the heck I could do.

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2 days later I was still in pain and needed to go to work. So I packed kiddo up for daycare and got ready for the day. But the time I dropped kiddo off at daycare I was in tears and out of breath. Time for an emergency call to my favourite physio for some help.

Because the pain was mostly in my hips and lower abdomen I totally missed telling her about the upper abdomen pain so we didn’t look there. But we did do a lot of work to release the tension I had going on and most of the pain went away (unless I moved wrong or tried to lift anything).

The next day I met with my midwife and we got to hear my baby’s heartbeat, it was an amazing experience watching my son hear the baby’s heart for the first time. And it upset me a lot when my Midwife told me to go back to my physio because my stomach was “tenting” at the top. She thought it could be Diastasis Recti, and since my physio is very focused on becoming the leader in healing Diastasis Recti and supporting Women’s health through pelvic and abdominal work my Midwife knew the best course for me would be to go back.

Cue panic attack…

I walked out of the appointment with my Midwife elated over hearing our baby, and freaking out about what it might mean to be dealing with this new challenge.

I googled … which was a bad idea, all I found were sites talking about how a surgery was needed to fix this, and all the complications and things that could go wrong because of it.

I posted in a chat group I’m part of for parenting asking for other people’s experiences and advice… got some reassuring news. Many of those who responded talked about using physio to help heal and others had some stellar information about the surgery.

Cue return to rational thinking. I mean I really had no reason to worry, I have the BEST care provider when it comes to Physio Therapy through Donna Sarna Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation. And as it turns out at the previous appointment we had been talking about a program Jamie (my physio) is developing specifically for rehabilitating a Diastasis Recti. So really I should be good.

A couple of days later I was back in the office to see Jamie (physio) and the conversation yes confirmed that I have a split up at the top of my tummy, but also was really reassuring and positive that this is something I can and will heal from.

My Treatment so far

When I saw Jamie and the Diastasis Recti was confirmed our conversation revolved around things like “what is it?”, “what does it mean for me now?” and “what can I do to help my body?”

The answer for me is to rest and integrate. So I’m not to lift heavy things, (I was a bit freaked when I told my boss I likely shouldn’t even lift a ream of paper), no twisting, no picking up my kiddo (this one hurts the most I love my snuggle bug), and to take it easy.

I’m also doing 2 excercizes a few times a day right now to help support my muscles.

The first and easiest one I can do anywhere is what I’m calling “Expansive Breathing”, the second is what I’ve come to think of as “Opposing Dead Bug” though I don’t remember the name Jamie gave it. And I’ve noticed a difference, not just from the tissue releases that happened during my physio appointment but also from doing these mild exercises on a regular basis.

The other thing I’m doing is usesing some balls and laying on them to help the muscles in my back release.

The results

So far I’m feeling better over all then that first day when I freaked out. The biggest concern I have is that I work at a desk all day every day. And even with regular breaks and an understanding boss I’m still feeling very tight in my hips and tummy. It’s one of those things I’m not sure I can get rid of while working a desk.

And I frequently have a hard time standing up after sitting for more than 30 minutes, which can be problematic when your job requires you to sit from 8 am to 5 pm even with regular breaks. Add to that almost an hour driving before and after and I think I have a recipe for tension.

We will see what I can do to help it though, hopefully at my next appointment with Jamie I’ll get more things I can do to improve my health.