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Postpartum women often have many health problems due to sudden changes in their body. One of them is diastasis recti which affects the core muscles.
Many men believe that they cannot develop this problem. It is a false assumption. Diastasis recti in men is more common than you expect.
Let’s find out what is exactly diastasis recti in men and how to get rid of diastasis recti in men safely.
What Is Diastasis Recti in Men?
As a matter of fact, this term might be unfamiliar for many of us. Do not worry if you have no clue about diastasis recti in men. Many professional healthcare providers also give false conclusion on this problem.
Commonly, people often refer the cause of tummy bulge or the deficiency of muscle tone to weight gain.
However, diastasis recti is a completely different issue. It is more common among postpartum women. Yet, diastasis recti can actually happen in men. And it usually comes from improper workouts. Professional athletes seem to have a higher risk of this problem.
Diastasis recti is a problem as your abdominal muscles separate. This separation leads to a gap between your muscles and it can be more than an inch. In other words, your abdominal tissues become stretching and thinning 
This accompanies with a series of other difficulties related to bending, stooping or simply carrying things. Back pain might also appear every time you wake up.
Without proper treatment, diastasis recti can disturb you for years. Your abdominal muscles cannot be tightening to their right position. And you will suffer from many other annoying symptoms.
Diastasis Recti in Men Symptoms
Diastasis recti does not result in deaths in men. However, its symptoms might be uncomfortable.
Many people wonder what does diastasis recti look like. The truth is you can imagine it as a ridge which runs from the navel to your breastbone’s bottom.
Diastasis recti makes you notice a bulge or pooch right in the stomach when your abdominal muscles are strained or contracted. It is clearer if you try sitting up.
Other common diastasis recti in men symptoms are:
- Poor posture
- Lower back pain
What Causes Diastasis Recti in Men?
Diastasis recti can be present in infants due to the incomplete growth of their surrounding muscles . In this case, you do not have to worry because it is gone naturally.
Meanwhile, pregnant women are likely to suffer from diastasis recti because of their growing uterus which causes the muscles to stretch .
So, what causes diastasis recti in men?
The fundamental reason for diastasis recti is too much pressure on the abdominal muscles. As a result, your muscles have to stretch and separate, which leads to a bulge.
In addition to pregnancy, obesity is a highly possible catalyst for this problem. The concentration of excess fat may make your stomach muscles suffer from more pressure.
Besides, there are some additional contributors to diastasis recti in men:
- Sudden weight changes
- Improper weight lifting
- Abdominal exercises
- Swollen abdomen for a long time
There are some reports that analyzed the possibility of diastasis recti in men with HIV. This health problem has negative impacts on your body’s concentration and relocation of fat .
When fat is stored too much in your abdomen, it means more pressure on your muscles. In other words, the risk of diastasis recti is much higher .
On the other hand, risk factors are present in your daily life without your recognition. If you are not well aware of the hidden dangers behind harmful habits, you will end up with diastasis recti symptoms.
Your abdomen can become weaker if you move incorrectly. For instance, it is not a good idea to bend over so as to get some heavy things. In such cases, you had better squat and lift heavy objects, even during workout.
How to Diagnose Diastasis Recti in Men
Doctors usually use a physical exam to detect diastasis recti. In general, you will lie flat on the back and do a series of crunch or half sit-up, just like when you do exercise.
For those with diastasis recti, there will be a vertical bulge among the abdominal muscles when you do these things.
How severe the problem is depends on the gap between muscles. There are several possible ways to measure this gap, such as a CT scan, an ultrasound or calipers.
How to Get Rid of Diastasis Recti in Men
There are several possible types of diastasis recti in men treatment. You can ask your doctor for recommendation on which treatment is appropriate for your specific conditions.
There are those who decide to do nothing as well. Diastasis recti in men is not fatal. In fact, it is only an aesthetic issue with annoying symptoms sometimes.
Recti Diastasis Surgery
In some cases, recti diastasis surgery is necessary to help you get rid of this problem. There are some different kinds of surgery, whether you want it to be conventional, endoscopic, or laparoscopic.
Conventional surgery refers to a standard incision which happens to your abdomen.
Abdominoplasty surgery, also known as a tummy tuck, is a quite comprehensive choice. Not only does it help correct your diastasis recti, but it also contributes to the elimination of your excess fat, tissue or skin.
Meanwhile, endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery has some similarities.
In laparoscopic surgery, professionals will get small-sized incisions for tubes which help them bring surgical tools, camera and light to the exact site.
For endoscopic surgery, all of these will go through your throat and esophagus. There is no need for incisions in the abdomen.
Overall, these two types of surgery will help you recover more quickly than conventional one.
Nevertheless, recti diastasis surgery is not a risk-free option. In many circumstances, the surgery might accompany with some complications which might make you worried for a long time.
Some of the most common complications from this treatment are:
- Skin loss in minor areas
- Pain, even after surgery
- Nerve damage
- Wound infections
On the other hand, some studies even claimed that after surgery, the likelihood of re-experiencing diastasis recti is around 40 percent . So, you might want to think again about this type of diastasis recti in men treatment.
There are still some available methods to get rid of diastasis recti.
Exercises for Diastasis Recti in Men
Surgery is a good diastasis recti in men treatment. Yet, not many people are really into it. It is quite costly, to be honest. In addition, the idea of surgery sometimes just makes people uncomfortable.
So, can diastasis recti be fixed without surgery? The answer is yes, it’s possible. As long as you continue to do exercise in the proper way, it can have positive impacts on your treatment.
It is better to go for core-strengthening exercises, for example, yoga or Pilates. If you insist on powerlifting or intense exercises, everything might get worse, especially when you perform incorrectly.
No matter which exercises you decide to do, it is necessary to consult your physical therapist or doctor so that you have a better understanding of your own situation.
Here are some feasible exercises that you can try to get rid of diastasis recti.
- Lie flat on the back and bend your knees
- Lift the hips and remember to tighten the lower abdomen
- Do it 10 times or have a physician guide you through the whole exercise
- Lie flat on the back and bend your knees
- Lift the head very slowly and let your chin touch the chest
- During the whole time, contract the abdomen towards the floor slowly
- Keep that position in 2 seconds and let your head go down gently
- Repeat this exercise 10 times for a set
- Sit and place your hands on the abdomen
- Then, contract the muscles in your abdomen very slowly. Do not forget to take small breaths and pull your muscles towards the spine
- Keep it in about half a minute and continue to take small breaths
- Do so 10 times per day
- Lie flat on the back and bend your knees
- Make one leg straight out and slide it down. Doing so, you should exhale
- Bring it back and inhale
- Repeat with the other leg
- Continue to do so constantly and slowly
As doing exercise correctly plays a very important role in the diastasis recti in men treatment, you can watch this video as a reference to do it on your own.
Tips for Preventing Diastasis Recti
Even though death is not a consequence of diastasis recti, there is no joy behind this problem. Sometimes you even have to deal with pelvic or back pain. Most importantly, your core becomes weaker, which causes many difficulties in daily life.
Therefore, it is very essential to know tips for preventing diastasis recti in men. Do not let it ruin your efforts at gyms.
- First, it is very important to be aware of the risk of diastasis recti in men. Most people still believe that it is an own problem of postpartum women. So, the first thing you need to do is to realize its danger and learn the prevention before everything is too late
- Secondly, good posture is important not only for the prevention against diastasis recti, but also for your body and appearance.
- No matter whether you have it or not, it is still better not to lift something too heavy or strain your abdominal muscles too hard
- Get your lower back some pillow or towels to support it when you sit down
- Use your arm to support your body when you try to stand up or get out of the bed
Core muscles are one of the most important body parts that men going to gyms regularly will pay attention to. However, for some reasons, you might have trouble using them. The likelihood is that you are experiencing the so-called diastasis recti in men.
It is not dangerous for your life, but there are unwanted effects. And there are some possible solutions to this problem. You can choose the most appropriate treatment for you, but the bottom line is to follow a healthy lifestyle with correct exercises.
Let’s share this article so that more and more men around you can notice the danger behind their exercises! This piece of information is worth sharing!