The purpose of this study was to examine the clinical assumption that the presence of diastasis recti abdominis (DRA) causes lumbo-pelvic pain (LPP) or dysfunction.
This study was a prospective exploratory analysis of DRA and LPP or dysfunction.
Only one other study was identified that examined the association between pain and dysfunction and DRA. The authors found that more than 60% of those with DRA had some type of pelvic pain.
Subjects (n=39; PG) included women seeking medical care for lumbar or pelvic area diagnoses (>18 years old) who had delivered at least one child. A control group (n=53; CON) of women were included, as well as a third group (n=8; LAP) with a history of a laparoscopy. Subjects completed the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory, Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire, and the Modified Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire, as well as 2 Visual Analog Scales (VAS) for pain. A dial caliper was used to measure the distance between the rectus bellies. Differences between groups were analyzed using ANOVAs. Pearson product moment correlations were used to examine relationships.
The incidence for the DRA was 74.4% for the PG, 50.9% in the CON, and 100% in the LAP groups. There was a significant difference between groups for all pain and dysfunction scales. There was also a significant difference between those with and without DRA for the VAS scores for abdominal and pelvic area pain. Otherwise, there was not a significant difference between those with and without DRA for any other LPP or function scales. Conclusions: Women with a DRA tend to have a higher degree of abdominal or pelvic region pain.
1Lakeview Physical Therapy, PC, Chicago, IL
2Andrews University, Department of Physical Therapy, Berrien Springs, MI
3University Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL