What The Tummy Team (and our clients) Want REHAB Professionals to Know about Diastasis Recti

The Tummy Team was founded by Kelly Dean who is a physical therapist with over 20 years of clinical experience after Kelly realized that there were simply not enough physical therapists who know how to effectively treat diastasis recti.  Like many PT’s, Chiropractors and other rehab Professionals, Kelly received very little information about diastasis recti in her schooling or continuing education. Yet, the more she worked with clients with diastasis the more it became clear that is an under diagnosed and poorly treated condition that can significantly impact clients quality of life.  

The Tummy Team now specializes not only in offering extensive online rehab for clients worldwide, but also professional education for medical, rehab, birth and fitness professionals internationally.  There is a gap in our knowledge base and The Tummy Team is working hard to educate professionals everywhere.  This July during Diastasis Recti Awareness Month, we focused our educational campaign on “What we want professionals to know about Diastasis Recti” and this blog is compilation of the 4 key areas we feel Rehab professionals could rethink what they know and what additional training they may need to better serve their clients. 

What You Learned in PT/Chiropractic School May Not be Enough to Effectively Treat Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti evaluation and treatment is not typically covered effectively in our general schooling as physical therapists or chiropractors.  Although, we believe it should be part of our basic curriculum, until it is, you need to get additional continuing education to cover this content. 

Diastasis Recti is a condition that reveals muscle imbalance, poor core stabilization techniques and likely is causing compensation pain in other areas of the body.  Confidently being able to assess diastasis recti and implement treatment will change how you treat every client and will impact your ability to help them meet their goals.  The Tummy Team has designed several professional continuing education courses to help fill the gap in your knowledge base so you can dramatically improve your approach to functional core weakness in all of your clients. Just because you do not know how to treat diastasis recti (yet), does not mean that there is no treatment.  

Effective Diastasis Recti Rehab is More Than Back Stabilization Exercises

Often when rehab professionals first start listening to The Tummy Team approach to diastasis rehab they mistaken it for standard back stabilization exercises that they have learned previously.  Although functional core rehabilitation does effectively stabilize the spine, the approach we implement is different.  We focus first on awareness and connection to the transverse abdominis in upright sitting and then standing postures.  The functional approach is less about a series of exercises and more about alignment, connection and functional integration of the core in all of the clients daily routine.  There are several unique contributing factors to diastasis and functional core weakness that are overlooked in a traditional back stabilization treatment approach.  Obtaining specialized education for this condition is essential for effective treatment to occur. 

Effective Diastasis Recti Rehab Focuses on Primarily Upright Activities

Treating the diastasis effectively rarely includes planks, hands and knees exercises or even back lying exercises.  The core was designed for upright functional activity and retraining the transverse abdominis in neutral pelvis, neutral ribcage, upright postures is key to repairing diastasis recti and restoring functional core strength.  PT and chiropractic school often instruct in hands and knees and back lying exercises that do not represent the true function of the transverse abdominis and often are difficult to translate into functional application of the core. Planks are equally ineffective at translating to functional use of the core.  Effectively treating the diastasis is more than any specific exercise but retraining the connection and recruitment of the core in all the challenges of daily movement.  Learn more in our Core Foundations and Core Foundations CEU course.

All Pelvic Floor Clients Should be Checked for a Diastasis

Pelvic floor physical therapy is becoming more available world wide yet the role of the core and diastasis recti continues to be overlooked by pelvic floor therapists.  Every client should be checked for a diastasis and assessed for functional core weakness.  At The Tummy Team we have found clinically that over 80% of pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms improve with diastasis rehab, functional core rehab and neutral pelvis training.  A diastasis indicates functional core weakness, untreated functional core weakness forces compensation strategies that lead to functional pelvic floor weakness.  Including diastasis awareness and functional core rehab into your pelvic floor treatment plan will help your clients meet their goals more effectively.  Check out Floor of Your Core course and our Functional Pelvic Floor Advanced CEU course at pro.thetummyteam.com to learn more.

The physical therapy, chiropractic and restorative fitness community plays a crucial role in diagnosing and effectively treating diastasis recti and functional core weakness but we need to know how to look for it and know how to effectively treat it. Don’t assume that your training has covered this content because it likely has not.  Let us help you!  The Tummy Team is on mission to make the treatment of diastasis recti a standard of care for everyone with back pain, pelvic instability, prenatal and postpartum care and so much more.  We want to help you get the training you need.

You can also find more information on professional training CEU courses for rehab professionals here.

Let us help you fill in this knowledge gap and better treat our clients together. 


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