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Abdominal Rectus Divarication

Understanding Diastasis Recti: Unveiling the Causes 

Divarication of Recti, also known as Abdominal Rectus Divarication, is a condition characterized by the separation of the abdominal muscles in the abdominal wall in the midline. While it is commonly associated with pregnancy, it can also affect individuals. In this blog, we will delve into the various causes of Divarication of Recti, shedding light on the factors that contribute to this condition.


One of the primary causes of Abdominal Rectus Divarication is pregnancy. As the fetus grows, the uterus expands, exerting significant pressure on the abdominal muscles. Hormonal changes during pregnancy also lead to the softening of connective tissues, making them more susceptible to stretching and separation. Multiple pregnancies increase the likelihood of developing Diastasis Recti, as the abdominal muscles have experienced repeated stretching and strain.

Rapid Weight Gain:

Sudden and excessive weight gain can put stress on the abdominal muscles, leading to their separation. This can occur due to factors such as significant weight fluctuations, unhealthy dietary habits, or sedentary lifestyles. When weight is gained rapidly, the abdominal muscles may struggle to accommodate the increased volume, resulting in the widening of the midline.

Incorrect Exercise Techniques:

Improper exercise techniques, particularly those that overly strain the abdominal muscles, can contribute to the development of Divarication of Recti. Exercises such as traditional crunches or sit-ups, which place excessive pressure on the midline, can lead to muscle separation. It is important to perform exercises under proper guidance, focusing on engaging the core without compromising the integrity of the abdominal muscles.

Genetic Predisposition:

Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing Divarication of Recti. Certain connective tissue disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, can weaken the abdominal muscles and make them more prone to separation. Genetic factors can play a role in determining the strength and elasticity of the connective tissues, influencing the likelihood of Diastasis Recti.

Lifestyle Factors:

Lifestyle choices can also contribute to the development of Divarication of Recti. Factors such as poor posture, excessive strain from heavy lifting or intense physical activity, and inadequate core muscle engagement can all place stress on the abdominal muscles. These cumulative factors weaken the muscles over time, increasing the risk of muscle separation.


Divarication of Recti can have various causes, with pregnancy and rapid weight gain being the most common culprits. However, incorrect exercise techniques, genetic predisposition, and lifestyle factors can also contribute to this condition. Recognizing these causes can help individuals take preventive measures and seek appropriate treatment options to address Diastasis Recti effectively.

See Also: What is Abdominal Rectus Divarication

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is divarication of recti?

A: Divarication of recti, also known as diastasis recti, is a condition characterized by the separation or widening of the rectus abdominis muscles along the midline of the abdomen. This separation creates a visible bulge or gap between the muscles.

Q: What causes divarication of recti?

A: Divarication of recti often occurs as a result of the stretching and weakening of the linea alba, the connective tissue that runs along the midline of the abdomen. It is commonly associated with pregnancy and abdominal muscle stretching during pregnancy, but it can also occur due to obesity, repetitive heavy lifting, or abdominal muscle strain.

Q: What are the symptoms of divarication of recti?

A: The most common symptom of divarication of recti is the visible bulge or gap in the midline of the abdomen, particularly when the person performs certain movements like sitting up or contracting the abdominal muscles. Some individuals may also experience lower back pain or a feeling of weakness in the core muscles.

Q: Can divarication of recti be treated without surgery?

A: In many cases, conservative measures can help improve the symptoms of divarication of recti. Physical therapy, specifically exercises that target the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles, may be recommended to strengthen the core and provide support to the abdominal muscles. The use of abdominal binders or splints can also aid in providing support and promoting proper alignment of the muscles. However surgery remains the mainstay of treatment for this condition.

Q: When is surgery recommended for divarication of recti?

A: Surgery may be recommended for individuals with severe or persistent symptoms that significantly impact their daily activities, quality of life, or self-esteem. It is generally considered when conservative measures have not provided satisfactory results. Surgery aims to repair and tighten the separated muscles, restoring abdominal muscle integrity.

Q: What does the surgical procedure for divarication of recti involve?

A: The surgical procedure for divarication of recti typically involves repair of the defect and reinforcement of repair with a mesh. During the procedure, the surgeon sutures or brings the separated rectus abdominis muscles together, tightening the abdominal wall. The excess skin and fat may also be removed, resulting in a flatter and more toned appearance of the abdomen. Sometimes abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with rectus plication and a mesh is required.

Q: What is the recovery process after surgery for divarication of recti?

A: Recovery after surgery for divarication of recti varies from person to person. It may involve a period of restricted activities, pain management, and wearing a compression garment to support the healing process. Physical therapy may be recommended to gradually strengthen the abdominal muscles and restore function. Full recovery can take several weeks to months, depending on the individual and the extent of the procedure.

Q: Are there any risks or complications associated with surgery for divarication of recti?

A: As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications, including infection, bleeding, scarring, asymmetry, seroma (fluid accumulation), nerve damage, and unfavorable aesthetic outcomes. It is essential to discuss these risks with the surgeon and follow post-operative care instructions to minimize complications.

Q: Can divarication of recti recur after surgery?

A: While surgery aims to repair and strengthen the abdominal muscles, there is a possibility of recurrence, particularly if proper post-operative care, including exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, is not followed. Adhering to the recommendations provided by the surgeon and engaging in core-strengthening exercises can help reduce the risk of recurrence.

Q: Is it possible to prevent divarication of recti?

A: While it may not always be possible to prevent divarication of recti, there are measures that can be taken to reduce the risk or minimize the severity. These include maintaining a healthy weight, practicing proper body mechanics during activities that involve the abdominal muscles, engaging in regular physical activity, and consulting with a healthcare professional for guidance on exercise routines during pregnancy or postpartum.

Q: Who treats divarication of recti?

A: It is important to consult with a surgeon for a proper diagnosis, evaluation of symptoms, and personalized treatment recommendations based on individual circumstances.