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Using Physical Therapy to Treat "Mommy Tummy"

Posted by Brian Spence on Mar 23, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Physical TherapyPittsburgh mother Katherine Hill is athletic, toned, and takes great care of her body. After giving birth, Hill noticed that she could not get her abdomen to lay flat no matter how much she dieted or exercised. She was frustrated. Her friends started asking if she was pregnant, two years after delivering her son. 

The cosmetic issues were not the only thing bothering Hill. Her abdomen was sore. Completing simple tasks like lifting her son or putting away dishes were extremely painful. The Pittsburgh resident decided to make an appointment with her physician. He diagnosed her with a condition called Diastasis Recti Abdominis. Some doctors call it the "mommy belly."

What is Diastasis Recti Abdominis?

Diastasis Recti Abdominis primarily affects pregnant women. Their abdomen expands and swells during gestation. The muscles reposition sideways, damaging their abdominal structure. Once the mother finally gives birth, her abdomen doesn't heal. She is left with a vertical space that won't return to normal without consistent treatment.

Treatments for Diastasis Recti Abdominis

Hill thought exercising would help her D.R.A. Her doctor recommended a physical therapist who could help train and repair her muscles. D.R.A. is a chronic issue that cannot be repaired without targeted treatments. Moms, however, are not the only ones who suffer from the condition. Overweight individuals and weightlifters can also develop the problem.

Intense physical therapy is primarily used to treat D.R.A. and - while surgery is required in more severe cases - recovery time is usually quick. Hill has undergone more than two years of therapy, but today the Pittsburgh mom exercises at home and her V-shaped D.R.A. continues to improve. The issue no longer causes her severe pain.

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