Diastasis recti Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of Diastasis recti is the bulging, doming, or “coning” of the stomach during core exercises.  

In fact this is the symptom that often send people on the search of “why” is this happening and they come across the term “Diastasis recti” for the first time.

What causes Diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti (or DR) occurs with the rectus abdominis muscles (6-pack ab muscles) seperate along the mid-line of the abdomen. The most common cause is from pregnancy, but it can occur without pregnacy and in men.

The separation can make a person’s belly stick out or bulge months or years postpartum. It can be repaired with special exercises that help to close the separation. Not sure if you have Diastasis recti – you can check here >>>

Despite how Diastasis recti may be caused for either a man or a woman, it is important to know the most common signs or symptoms of this condition so that you can start taking the steps towards getting treatment.

Common Symptoms of Diastasis recti

Common symptoms of Diastasis recti are:

  • A visible bulge or “pooch” (mommy tummy) that doesn’t reduce even if you are working out and losing weight.
  • Doming (coning) or bulging when you contract your ab muscles.
  • Softness or jelly-like feeling, most often around your belly button.
  • Generally feeling weak in the abs, especially when doing everyday movements like lifting, bending and carrying.
  • Bloating


Other Signs you may Have Diastasis recti

There are also other common signs of Diastasis, and whilst these are NOT directly from DR they are related because when their is a dysfunction in one part of the core that can have an impacts the rest of the core.

  • Low back pain is often causes by lack of abdominal strength and/or poor posture.
  • Poor posture, which occurs from the body adjusting to compensate for the lack of “ab” strength.
  • Urine leaking when you sneeze or cough.
  • Constipation.
  • Pain during sex.
  • Pelvic or hip pain.

These are also all signs of Pelvic floor dysfunction – which you will want to address BEFORE focusing on “ab” work.

Pelvic floor information can be found here >>>

What does Diastasis recti feel like?

Diastasis recti itself not painful. 

You may however feel pain/discomfort associated with some of the symptoms (side effects) of Diastasis, but the ab separation itself doesn’t hurt. 

However, if your child accidently kicks you in the stomach down the center line that may be more painful than normal due to the lack of protection there.

Also, due to the feeling of weakness in your core when doing once easy tasks, like lifting a laundry basket, this may cause you to adjust how you lift which in turn may cause symptoms such as back pain.

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