Conditions we treat
DIASTASIS OF THE RECTUS ABDOMINIS MUSCLE (DRAM)
Our Women’s Health Physiotherapists are trained in assessment and management of Diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle (DRAM). We can help you manage DRAM during pregnancy and restore your core muscle function following birth.
Treatment may include education around posture and optimisation of movement, support garment recommendations, progressive strengthening exercises and advice on physical activity.
What is it?
DRAM is commonly referred to as separation of the abdominal muscles. It is a normal part of pregnancy and is caused by the softening and stretching of the connective tissue in the midline of the abdomen known as the Linea Alba. It is this stretching that enables your abdomen to accommodate your growing baby. Many women are surprised to find out that at 36 weeks of gestation the average amount of “separation” is 6.5cm.
We know that in 40% of women the DRAM will recover spontaneously by 6-8 weeks postnatal. However, for the remaining 60% of women, a separation > 2.5cm will persist. Persistent DRAM, if left untreated, may over time, increase load on the back and pelvic floor muscles and contribute to pelvic floor issues or low back/pelvic joint pain.
Signs of DRAM:
Ongoing softness and protrusion of the abdomen
Visible coning (protrusion) along the midline of the abdomen when you increase the pressure inside the abdomen eg. when you do a sit-up to get out of bed or off the couch
A feeling of weakness in the abdominal area
Lower back and pelvic pain
Pelvic floor dysfunction