What causes Diastasis Recti?

What causes Diastasis Recti?
What causes Diastasis Recti?

What causes Diastasis Recti is a common question we get as Women’s Health Physical Therapists.

Diastasis recti occurs when the connective tissue (linea alba) between the rectus abdominis muscles, which run vertically along the front of the abdomen, stretches and weakens.

Several factors can contribute to the development of diastasis recti, including:

  1. Pregnancy: This is one of the most common causes. The growing uterus during pregnancy puts significant pressure on the abdominal muscles, leading to separation in some cases. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also affect the connective tissue’s elasticity.
  2. Abdominal Strain: Any activity or condition that places excessive strain on the abdominal muscles can contribute to diastasis recti. This includes heavy lifting, especially with improper form, or repeated movements that involve straining the abdominal muscles.
  3. Excess Abdominal Fat: Carrying excess weight, particularly around the abdominal area, can increase the risk of diastasis recti. The additional weight can further stress the already weakened abdominal muscles.
  4. Multiple Pregnancies: Women who have had multiple pregnancies are at a higher risk because their abdominal muscles have experienced repeated stretching and stress.
  5. Improper Exercise: Performing certain exercises incorrectly or doing exercises that place excessive pressure on the rectus abdominis muscles, such as sit-ups or crunches, without proper core engagement, can contribute to diastasis recti.
  6. Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to weaker connective tissues, which can make them more susceptible to diastasis recti.


It’s important to note that while these factors can contribute to diastasis recti, not everyone who experiences them will develop the condition.

Some people may have a combination of these risk factors, while others may develop diastasis recti without an obvious underlying cause.

Additionally, diastasis recti can also occur in men and children, although it is more commonly associated with pregnancy and postpartum women.

Treatment options for diastasis recti

Pelvic floor physical therapy is valuable for those who experience symptoms of diastasis recti. It can significantly improve quality of life and help individuals regain control and confidence in their core health.

At PhysioFit of NC, we have the expert team in pelvic floor physical therapy to help you to the fullest.

We provide a comprehensive treatment approach through our Women’s Health Program.  This includes manual therapy and exercises to improve conditions related to the pelvic floor muscles.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you!