Hello Mommas! Today I’d like to talk to you about abdominal splinting. This is NOT the same thing as a compression wrap, corset or spanx that squeezes you like a tube of toothpaste causing parts of you to ooze out the top or bottom. Was that enough of a visual for you?! If you have a Diastasis Recti, your tummy looks like this.
As you can see, your rectus abdominal muscles are much farther apart than they should be due to the thinning and stretching of the Linea Alba (no relation to Jessica Alba). This is an injury that needs to be addressed!! If you break your arm or sprain your ankle, you go to the Dr. Said Dr. will then brace, splint or cast the injured area so the ligaments (connective tissue) can heal in the proper alignment. The connective tissue down the midline of your tummy needs to be treated the same way.
Doing the right exercises to strengthen the Transverse Abdominus is integral to your healing. That is what @Moms2bfit does with the core re-training program. Alignment is also hugely important!! If you sit slumped or thrust your ribs forward or tuck your tail under, your core and pelvic floor muscles are not “turned on”. However, even when I’m trying my darnedest, I can’t not sit, stand, squat, carry kids, etc. with perfect posture 100% of the time. When you already have a Diastasis Recti the everyday movements put constant straing and pressure on your weakened connective tissue. An abdominal splint will gently pull the Rectus Abdominal muscles back together so your connective tissue can heal more quickly.
Not everyone needs a splint to repair a Diastasis but if your separation is more than 3 fingers wide, I HIGHLY recommend one! A good abdominal splint should not be too rigid or it will take over for your abdominal muscles essentially making them weaker. It should not be too tight because then its adding to the intra-abdominal pressure which cause your DR in the first place. (Note the toothpaste image) It should be comfortable enough (keep in mind that its a splint) to wear constantly for 6-8 weeks while you heal. A splint should always be used with the proper core retraining exercises or your tummy will revert once the splint comes off. I recommend the Tummy Team 3-panel splint and the FitSplint to my postpartum clients. Happy splinting!!