Causes and Treatments of Diastasis Recti Among Men

Diastasis recti is the condition where the abdominis muscles of the rectus have separated and no longer run parallel up and down to the pubic bone from the breastbone. The Greek interpretation of the word diastasis is "to separate". You can actually see the diastasis if the patient does a sit-up. The bulge that goes up the middle of the abdomen is the diastasis. Women who are pregnant are more likely to get this condition but diastasis in men can also occur.

Symptoms of Diastasis Recti in Men

The gap that may exist in between both sides of the muscle called the rectus abdominis is known as diastasis recti. While this condition does not lead to death, it can bring all kinds of discomforts. So you must know the following symptoms to determine if you have it.

A diastasis recti looks like a ridge, running from the bottom of breastbone to the belly button, which could be as long as 2.7 cm. Other symptoms of diastasis recti among men and women include: constipation, leaking of urine, and back pain in the lower portion. You may have trouble breathing as well as moving around. If this condition goes without attention, organs might break through the tissue which is considered a hernia.

What Causes Diastasis Recti in Men?

Infants may be diagnosed with diastasis recti because the development of their rectus abdominis is not complete. Pregnant women develop this condition because their rectus abdominis has been stretched out because their uterus is growing. So what causes diastasis recti among men?

  • Exercises done incorrectly: If the man has been performing weight lifting routines or sit-ups vigorously in the wrong way it can cause diastasis.
  • Extra pounds: Guys who gain weight rapidly are putting extra pressure on the abdomen, causing the separation to happen. More men end up with this condition because they tend to put their excess weight on the front rather than on the sides of their body as women do.
  • Medical history: If your mother or father has suffered from this condition, chances are you may get it too.

How to Deal with Diastasis Recti in Men

Since diastasis recti can cause so many discomforts, treatments must be sought out. You can try any of the following for relief:

Exercise One

  • First lie down on the floor with both legs bent and both feet on the ground.
  • Put both of hands on the lower stomach and point fingers downwards.
  • Breathe in and out in a steady stream.
  • Slowly lift the head and shoulders off the ground.
  • Press down on the lower abdomen using hands and fingers.

Exercise Two

The more you strengthen the muscles that are involved in diastasis, the more difficult it is to divide the muscular tissue.

  • Lie on the ground on the back with knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Tighten the muscles in the lower abdomen and lift your hip at the same time.
  • Do 10 reps or as directed.

Exercise Three

This is the third exercise for diastasis recti in men and do as instructed:

  • Lie down on the floor, knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Inhale and when exhaling, slowly straighten out one leg and slide it down on the floor.
  • Straighten your leg as far as you could. Then inhale and bring the leg back to its starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Exercise Four

  • Sit on the floor and put both hands on the abdomen.
  • Take small breaths and slowly contract abdominal muscles, pulling them toward the spine.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds while keep your breathing under control.
  • Do this exercise 10 times per day.

Exercise Five

  • Lying down with knees bent and feet on the ground.
  • Lift head slowly with chin downward the chest.
  • Slowly contract the abdomen towards the floor and hold it for 2seconds.
  • Lower your head to the starting position and hold it for 2 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise 10 times.


Another technique for treating diastasis recti in men is to brace the lower back and abdominal area. This will give you support as you begin your exercise rehabilitation, cut down on your pain, and show you the right way that your midsection should be positioned.


Extreme cases of diastasis recti may have to be corrected by surgery. The cosmetic procedure is called abdominoplasty. During this procedure, the linea alba is folded and sutured together. The skin is lifted along what is referred to as the bikini line right across the front of the body and the stomach muscles are repaired and tightened. The surgical procedure is done with general anesthesia and only takes about 90 minutes. 

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