7 cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. This condition has no associated morbidity or mortality. The distance between the right and left rectus abdominis muscles is created by the stretching of the linea alba, a connective collagen sheath created by the aponeurosis insertions of the transverse abdominis, internal oblique, and external oblique. Diastasis of this rectus diastasis exercises pdf occurs principally in two populations: newborns and pregnant women.
It is also known to occur in men. In the newborn, the rectus abdominis is not fully developed and may not be sealed together at midline.
Diastasis recti is more common in premature and black newborns. In pregnant or postpartum women, the condition is caused by the stretching of the rectus abdominis by the growing uterus. It is more common in multiparous women due to repeated episodes of stretching. When the defect occurs during pregnancy, the uterus can sometimes be seen bulging through the abdominal wall beneath the skin.
Women are more susceptible to develop diastasis recti when over the age of 35, high birth weight of child, multiple birth pregnancy, and multiple pregnancies. Additional causes can be attributed to excessive abdominal exercises after the first trimester of pregnancy.
A diastasis recti may appear as a ridge running down the midline of the abdomen, anywhere from the xiphoid process to the umbilicus. It becomes more prominent with straining and may disappear when the abdominal muscles are relaxed. The medial borders of the right and left halves of the muscle may be palpated during contraction of the rectus abdominis.
The condition can be diagnosed by physical exam, and must be differentiated from an epigastric hernia or incisional hernia, if the patient has had abdominal surgery. Hernias may be ruled out using ultrasound. In infants, they typically result from a minor defect of the linea alba between the rectus abdominis muscles.
This allows tissue from inside the abdomen to herniate anteriorly. With muscles tense, examiners then place fingers in the ridge that is presented.