Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

Diastasis recti in adult male

Posted In: Muscle conditions 136 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 17, 2007
  • 01:28 AM

I've read pro's and con's on the decision of whether to get this surgically repaired. My husband is a 49-year old male with diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). The only time you can see it bulge is if he's lifting weights or doing something strenuous. The bulge is oblong and raises up about an inch or so from his abdomen during the time of straining, and runs a length of about 4-5 inches. It's scary looking-like something's going to burst if he holds the strain much longer. I can't stand to watch him bench press...I usually just walk away because it worries me.

Most of what I've read is on post-pregnancy women and occasionally newborns with this problem...very little about men. The little I've read says that most men who do get it surgically repaired do so for cosmetic reasons.

My only concern in not getting it done is that my husband works a very physical job and he loves to exercise and lift weights, though he's slacked off exercising considerably until we determine whether this was a hernia. Could his continuing to exert heavy stress on that area pose a potential health threat in the future?

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  • if it's a hernia he will make problems for himself with all that lifting but i can't believe he doesn't have pain after exercise. this has to be brought to a dr's attention so it can be diagnosed. if it doesn't have any ill effect on the body why have a surgical procedure. it bothers you more than your husband,as in most marriages, have drs. settle it once and for all.
    nancy29 4 Replies
    • January 24, 2007
    • 01:29 PM
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  • I am a 62 year old white male who has diastasis recti. I have noticed that I have developed a stomach bulge which I attribute to that condition. I am in otherwise good shape and not overweight. Will abdominal exercises help to address the bulge? Are abdominal exercises likely to exacerbate the diastasis?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 18, 2007
    • 02:28 PM
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  • :confused: I am a 61 year old adult male in good shape though 20 pounds overweight. I have a generally fit and firm body; most of my excess weight is in my neck, back and a basketball-shaped gut. I recently started trying to keep up with my wife in a hardbodies calisthenics class and was surprised at my lousy core strength. Leg lifts and crunches were especially difficult and painful. Last week I discovered the abrupt onset of the classic football-shaped bulge of diastasis recti - extending from my sternum down to my navel. It relaxes when the strain is removed and there is little discomfort from it. The question is - what now? Ignore it? Coddle myself? Work out more? Special exercises? Thanks!
    corsair24 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Did you learn of any exercises to resolve this condition? I have it also.Thanks.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • No, no recommendations from the professional community. You have probably Googled it yourself (took all of 30 seconds, huh?). My take is that there is no practical treatment for it - nothing a doctor can charge you for and expect the insurance to cover. I have found ways to minimize it during exercise: The two top-to-bottom muscle banks really do operate independently of each other. The pop-out occurs when both belts of muscles are compressed at once. Thus, you can transfer the weight subtly between one belt and the other and nothing pops out. It takes a lot of attention, but it can be done - with difficulty at first and almost mindlessly later. Again, I have found nothing that "cures" it except for a surgical resection of the gristly sheet that keeps the left and right vertical muscles sheets alinged. I'll post my progress here including anything new I learn about treatment. You do the same, okay?
    corsair24 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Corsair,Could you please provide more info on how to work the two muscle belts?Thanks
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am probably oversimplifying it: these are the vertical muscle belts that produce the "six-pack" abs that we guys are so fond of showing off (if we have them). They are kind of like a pair of broad suspenders that extend down over the stomach between the ribcage and the groin. They are strengthened by exercises such as sit ups and leg lifts. In my case, they separated: the cartilege that keeps them together tore (painlessly!) and now they have spread apart a bit. It seems to make no diffference in my normal activities, but if I do a situp they tighten and compress, as they are supposed to do. The unnerving part is that a big wedge of my soft tissue (skin, fat, etc.) gets squeezed when this happens, and protrudes out between the two bands of muscle. If the two muscle belts were still connected side-by-side, this soft tissue would all stay concealed behind the super-spiffy muscle. Instead, it looks like I have a football embedded in my stomach facing up and down. Truth be told, I feel lucky that this is just a vanity thing; it appears to cause no harm. But I am shedding a few dozen pounds just to be certain, so maybe it is a backhanded good thing, all told.:D
    corsair24 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • I was told I had a hernia and could only be fixed through surgery. But then I found and done some research on this. It showed only to happened to wemon. I was wandering if any of yours does exactly like mine. The only way it sows is when I am doing a situp or laying down and do a leg raise. It goes from the bottom of my ribs to the top of my naval. It looks like a football and is not in anyway painfull. If I am doing these two things and I tighten my stomach muscles real hard it seems to disappear. Thx for any help
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Bullseye! It sounds like you have exactly the same condition I have: the vertically-aligned "football" extending from the navel to the ribs, only apparent when you work your stomach muscles, not painful but ugly enough to scare the crap out of you the first time you see it. Is that about right? I was also told that it could only be corrected surgically - and that the surgery is extensive, expensive and is considered vanity stuff (my insurance won't cover it). That's all I know. What I don't know is whether it gets worse if left untreated or if there are any health issues with it. Google it: "diastasis recti". There's not much there. Bummer.
    corsair24 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • hello everyone well we all have a gap in the abdominals, but has anyone grown from the age of say 5 with a diatasis recti? i was given umbilical hernia operation when i was 4 and a weak spot developed above my navel which wasnt repaired and 30 years later i'm only just finding out why my stomach sticks out. i've encountered all sorts of problems while i was growing. does anyone else share my pain?????? if anyone is doing sit ups you'll worsen the problem, i've got a ab flex, which doesnt involve any movement apart from the head, try it. go on the internet and search for ab flex 2
    simonboddie 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the same problem. I am 62, in pretty good physical shape, active, and no more than 20 pounds above my ideal weight. I have noticed an increasing "pot belly" develop after the diastasis became apparent. I wonder if there is a connection between the two? Anyone else have this development? My theory is that the two muscle bands acted like a girdle to hold in the internal abdominal organs but they no longer serve as a "girdle" which allows the organs to push out into a pot belly. I have next to no abdominal fat. I welcome your thoughts and comments. There really isn't much about this condition in adult males on the internet. I've enjoyed the benefit of your previous comments.
    tiger67 4 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I am 55 years old, and work out 5 days a week and do 100 situp-crunchs every night. I also started to see this condition in my abs area, it freaked me out too. I went to my doctor who diagnoised it as diastasis recti, and said it would not be a problem unless it turned into a hernia condition, this worries me because I don't want to wait until it gets worse and I need an operation. Would like to know how I can still work my abs, and not agrivate this area, and if possible strengthen this area to prevent the condition, and an operationAny help would be appreciated. we are lucky we have this page to discuss such matters, doctors don't seem to have all the answers, and we get a lot of feed back, and information from each other.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • As a brand new member to the DR Club could someone tell me if there are support girdles/stockings/or equivalent male thingies that are helpful for the condition. Also has anyone found any papers on the connection between DR and aortic aneurysms. Thanks, James A
    SeeYouJimmie 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been recently diagnosed with having diastasis recti... I am doing the googgle research and visiting forums... Ive found not much info out here to rely on... Is there some one out there in the medical community who can give us a good idea as to if treating this condition is advisable or not for health reasons, other than cosmetic...? What iare the risks... recommendations, do's and dont's we need to be aware of...! Thanks, J. Antonio Di Bella
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been recently diagnosed with having diastasis recti... I am doing the google research and visiting forums and reading a lot on the topic... not much out there to rely on... Is there some one out there in the medical community who can give us a good idea as to if treating this condition is advisable or not for health reasons, other than cosmetic...? What are the risks involved... benefits, recommendations, do's and dont's we need to be aware of...! Thanks, J. Antonio Di BellaUpdate: My doctor advised me yesterday (Aug/1/2007) not to pursue a surgical solution for my diastasis recti. He told me that if he had it, he wouldn't do it, specially if tehre is no discomfort or hernia related pain present. I told him that the biggest "nuissance" I feel is a sensation of constant pressure in the abdomen, as if something is pushing my belly down... and sometimes I feel as If I'm about to overflow, as in spill my guts out... very uncomfortable... I am an active male, and do exercise a lot... but now I feel very vulnerable and unsafe... gosh... and I'm only 46... LOL...!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i am a 32 y/o male with a history of back problems.( 3 herniated discs, 1 surgery, alot of coritisone shots, 1 radio frequency ablation, tons of pt and thousands of accupuncture pins). i am active male is trying not to let this stop him with 2 little girls under 3! i was playing golf on sat when I had this sensation of getting punched above my navel after a hard drive. was sore and had some shortness of breath. what was really freaking me out was the fact that when I put fingers above my navel i could feel them slip in between the ab muscles! was a little tender and bulged out when I did sit ups but not much more. the family md said I had a ventral hernia but another md said DR was my condition. the worst is the what you said, this sensation that your guts are going spill out all over the table. any suggestions on what to do? thank god for this forum, the only one i found
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am a 54 year old male that has noted these same symptomsfor over the past 10 years. They have not caused any discomfort until just 2 weeks ago. It has been steadily getting worse over the years and the football is now very prominent when doing a crunch. (About 3-4 inches wide and 1-1.5 inches out and extends from sterum to belt line.) Two weeks ago my navel went from an inny to an outty and has gotten very tender to the touch.I suspect my office job has added to the susceptibiltiy to this condition, but the sore navel has me now concerned. Any information?Thanks
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 20, 2007
    • 02:11 AM
    • 0
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  • Just curious....does anyone with this condition have high cholesterol?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 22, 2007
    • 00:26 AM
    • 0
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  • What this group needs is the input from a doctor specializing in DR. So far we are a group of patients sharing our own personal experiences which, although very valuable and comforting, misses the technical knowledge and validation from a professional.If any DR sufferers out there have ever run into such a specialist I believe it would be helpful to have him/her contribute to this site. Perhaps you can suggest that.Alternatively, perhaps there are other reports/sites that can be shared here.Any contributions?Tks, Jim F (67 y/o male)
    SeeYouJimmie 2 Replies
    • August 22, 2007
    • 01:49 PM
    • 0
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  • For the user with the navel that went from innie to outie, that is probably a hernia that needs treatment but the standard football is just a nuisance I guess. Would be nice to have a PT or MD respond though. Especially regarding possible exercises to do that will stengthen abs without causing more problems.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 5, 2007
    • 03:57 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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