Physical Therapy

Clearing up the noise around Diastasis

October 25, 2022

I’m Tanya.
I’ve learned that a little bit of intentionality goes a long way in accomplishing the goals we set for ourselves. This blog is meant to equip you with just that - simple tips, tricks, advice, and encouragement that help you live an intentional life. 
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Have you had this experience: You’re told you have diastasis, given a brace to wear, and then instructed never to do sit-ups or planks again?

Unfortunately, this is all too common, and I’ve had several patients with this exact story. There’s a LOT of noise around diastasis and what you can and can’t do. And if you’re like me, I love a good list. So I have people all the time who ask me, “what can’t I do with diastasis?” The REASON there’s so much noise and confusion around diastasis is that our understanding and treatment of diastasis has continued to shift and change over the past decade+ and it’s a GOOD thing because our specialty continues to figure out how to BEST treat this. But here’s the problem:

1. You have some PTs who haven’t updated their knowledge in a decade and are still treating in a way that’s no longer helpful.

2. The previous model made everyone fearful, where mamas have become afraid to move or exercise for fear that they might make their diastasis worse.

3. You have people who have perhaps healed their own diastasis or received a generic certification but have no true education/degree behind what they do and are not qualified to instruct you, yet EVERYONE can be an expert on anything today. You just need a free social media account. 🙂

So let’s clear up some noise:

  1. If you REALLY want to heal your diastasis, then find a well-trained pelvic floor PT. Not someone who took a course 5-10 years ago, or someone who has no degree but some random certification. Someone who does this every day for a living continues to educate themselves on the latest research and has a degree to back it up. This is the VERY BEST WAY to help yourself, b/c most diastases are NOT surgical cases and your body is totally capable of healing.
  2. Function is the goal, not closing the gap. Sure, I like to see the gap go down, and it WILL go down if you do the work! But most women have in their heads that unless it’s totally closed, it’s bad, when in reality, you can have a super small gap but not have a well-functioning core, and you can have an amazing core and still have a small gap…and that’s ok!
  3. If you have diastasis, you no longer have to live in fear! Sure, there are some things I’d instruct you on so we’re not constantly pushing tons of pressure through the gap, but if you sit up “wrong,” you’re not going to instantly make it worse or screw up your core.
  4. The tissue must be loaded to see a gain. If your diastasis exercises are too easy, you’re not going to get anywhere. You need exercises that challenge you and exercises that include full-body work!
  5. You’re not broken. Diastasis is a NORMAL part of pregnancy, but we CAN diminish the size (and how much work we have to do) postpartum by doing preventative work during pregnancy. Many of my patients who see me prenatally have very little work to do after birth b/c their diastasis has already come down to a much smaller size!
  6. There’s no reason you can’t do ALL the things you want to do, even WITH diastasis, we just have to show you how. 🙂 In fact, I’m often giving crunches, planks, and all sorts of ab exercises to my diastasis patients b/c it’s actually what’s going to help them HEAL when they know how to engage their inner core correctly.

All right, I hope that clears up some of your confusion! Want to figure out if you have diastasis? Check out my free tutorial here! And if you do have diastasis and are ready for healing, then you need Diastasis 101, my comprehensive program to take you from where you are now to exercise and activity without any limits! Have more questions Send me a message! I’d be happy to help!

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