Diastasis recti abdominis in a 42-year-old woman: case report




Graham, Allison

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Angelo State University. Department of Physical Therapy.


Background and Purpose: The space between the transverse abdominis fibers, known as diastasis rectus abdominis, is commonly seen postpartum. This case is significant because there is limited research about interventions for DRA. Case Description: The patient is a 42-year-old Hispanic female who had one vaginal delivery 4 years ago and another 2 years ago. The patient presented to therapy after coming through direct access with a chief complaint of abdominal instability when side-lying. The patient reported that there is a “gapping” in their abdomen when they attempt bed mobility and transfers. Outcomes: The patient decreased their DRA from 5 cm to 3.2 cm at the umbilicus and improved transverse and rectus abdominis strength from 3+/5 to 4-/5. These improvements allowed the patient to increase their abdominal stability during functional activities. Discussion: The most important finding from this study was that conservative treatment for DRA can be effective in reducing the distance between the transverse abdominal muscles. More research needs to be performed to create a universal clinical practice guideline since DRA is a prevalent condition that occurs in many women post-partum. This case report can provide insight into potential treatment interventions for patients with DRA.