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Diastasis recti- what it means and how can it be improved

 Diastasis recti- what it means and how can it be improved

What is Diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is a condition in which the connective tissue between the rectus abdominalis muscles is stretched too far due to prolonged increased intra-abdominal pressure which can occur with different conditions, more prevalent in pregnant women.

Basically it means that your belly sticks out in the middle because the abdominal wall has weakened and the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened in time.

There are ways to correct this condition, however if neglected, diastasis recti can lead to suboptimal core stabilization with back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction and/or pelvic pain.


This condition has not only an esthetic implication but more serious consequences, the rectus abdominalis muscles being connected with the pelvis.

A dysfunctional pelvic floor can cause pelvic organs prolapse and can affect the function of the urinary bladder manifested with different degrees of incontinence or difficulty bladder emptying which can subsequently entertain recurrent urinary tract infections.

It can affect the bowel, promoting bloating and constipation and can cause back pain through imbalance in the core muscles.

Multiple research studies have shown that diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunctions may actually affect the sexual functions.

When the abdominalis muscles are laterally separated like in diastasis recti, the bowels and other organs have only a thin band of connective tissue in front to hold them in place. In extreme cases, this tissue may tear, and organs may poke out through the defect resulting in a hernia.

Diastasis recti can even make it harder to breathe and to move normally.

Who can get it?

Diastasis recti or muscle divarication is most commonly encountered during 3rd trimester of pregnancy and postpartum especially after pregnancy over 35 years of age, after multiple pregnancies, heavy babies or twin-pregnancies however not limited to. About two-thirds of pregnant women have it to a certain degree. Without the needed muscle support, a further vaginal delivery could be more difficult.

Man can also develop diastasis recti after strenuous inappropriate abdominal exercises or inappropriate heavy lifting.

What can we do about it ? The new approach

A relatively recent technique used to help in exercising the pelvic floor and toning the abdomen is gaining more and more adepts, as it is not only very efficient but also totally harmless. This new technique is the Abdominal Hypopressive Gymnastics.

The story behind it

In the 1980s, Dr. Marcel Caufriez studying urogynecological postpartum recovery, he observed on a vaginal examination on a uterine prolapse patient that the prolapse can be reduced during diaphragmatic aspiration. Furthermore, realizing that the regular abdominal exercises were actually detrimental to women's pelvic floor, he started looking into alternative ways for strengthen the core muscles without having the patient doing strenuous exercises, most of the times too aggressive for patient pelvic organs. He demonstrated that the heavy exercises can accentuate problems of urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapses, and abdominal distension.

The new developed physical therapy technique is called ''the Marcel Caufriez Hypopressive Method''

How do the hypopressive exercises work?

Hypopressive Exercises are a type of workout technique meant for activating the pelvic floor muscles involuntary fibers. They also work the oblique and transverse abdominal muscles.

It is basically a breathing exercise where you contract the abdominal muscles after full exhalation, lifting the abdominal organs toward the ribcage and holding the position for few seconds without breathing in.

By Caufriez there are three criteria that define a hypopressive exercise are:

1.Decreased pressure within the thoracic, abdominal, and perineal cavities

2.Reflexive electromyographic activity in the core muscles (abdominal wall and pelvic floor)

3.Neurovegetative reactivity measured by an increase in noradrenaline

To have full benefit of this excellent technique that can improve dramatically your condition, it is important to practice under the guidance of an experiences practitioner. Once you have mastered the technique you can than continue exercising on your own.

What are the Benefits of Hypopressive Exercises

The Hypopressive abdominal exercises can give you amazing benefits without spending all of your free time at the gym and they include:

Reduces the waistline and strengthen the core muscles without damaging the pelvic floor, concurrently improving the diastasis recti.

Prevents abdominal wall and disc herniation by improving the muscle tonus without straining the neck and lumbar spine as often happens with traditional abdominal exercises.

Decreases the back pain by improving the back posture.

Treats and prevents urinary incontinence by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.

Treats and prevents pelvic organ prolapse. Strong abdominals help to support the pelvic organs and thus release tension in the ligaments that support them. You can also help to fix pelvic organ prolapse due to the 'vacuum effect'. Hypopressive exercises create a negative pressure in the pelvic cavity which helps the organs rise and return to their normal position.

Helps women pre and post childbirth by toning the core muscles, preventing or treating the urinary incontinence and organ prolapse.

Improves sexual function, by improving the muscle tone in the pelvic floor augments the performance, sensitivity and pleasure.

The scientific evidence

A 2007 study on 100 women with stress incontinence by Esparza, demonstrated an increase in pelvic floor muscle tone and 6% decrease in waist line after 6 months of hypopressive training.

Fernandez studied in 2007 the effect of the hypopressive excercsis in adults with urinary incontinence and he reported an increase by 23.5 % of basal tone after 6 monts of practice. The symptoms were decreased or completely eliminated in 85.7% of the patients.

Also in 2007, Caufriez reported good effects of hypopressive technique on posture after only 10 weeks, including reduced lumbar and cervical lordosis and kyphosis.

A 2010 study of 126 women investigated the effect of abdominal exercises compared to hypopressive exercises for 14 weeks. Hypopressive group had an average of 3.5 cm waist circumference and decreased scoring on a urinary incontinence questionnaire. Incontinence was eliminated in some of the subjects.

Bernardes in 2012 studied the cross sectional area of levator ani in 58 women with stage II pelvic organ prolapse. The patients were divided into 3 groups: normal pelvic floor exercises, hypopressive exercises and a control group. They reported similar increases in the cross sectional area of levator ani produced with both pelvic floor exercises and hypopressive exercises.

What we offer at Sonoworld Diagnostic

At Sonoworld Diagnostics we offer private individual or group Hyporessive Training under the guidance of a proficient Physiotherapist with more than 15 year experience in Kinetotherpy and Massage.

A free pre-class session will be booked for you in order to evaluate your particular weaknesses and to plan the best training regime in each individual case.

At Hale clinic, the sessions are tailored in such manner to best suit your busy schedule.

For further information or to book you free assessment, please email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. call us on 02036334902 or 07885384785.

Private Pregnancy Scans - London

We offer a large range of private pregnancy scans in London starting with the early scan at 5 weeks gestation and other complimentary baby scans throughout your pregnancy including gender scan, growth scan and reassurance scans.

We offer a same day private pregnancy scan service to provide you with peace of mind and quick reassurance about your pregnancy and your baby.

We also offer a range of 3D and 4D bonding scans for parents who want to meet their baby early. Our sonographers are fully qualified and comply with all the professional safety guidelines.

Looking for a Private Ultrasound Scan in London?

You are in the right place if you are looking for a private ultrasound in London. At Sonoworld Diagnostics we offer an extensive range of private ultrasound scans in a convenient central London location next to Harley Street.

We offer same day and out of hours private ultrasound scan appointments in days and times to suit your busy schedule.

Our consultant sonographers are very experienced in the field of diagnostic medical ultrasound so you can rest assured that your health is in good hands. We use the latest ultrasound diagnostic equipment to increase diagnostic accuracy. Sonoworld Diagnostics has been providing ultrasound scan services to the NHS and private sector since 2012 and therefore is well established in the field of medical ultrasound.

At our London ultrasound clinic, we are able to offer you private ultrasound scans in a clean and comfortable environment without the wait associated with the ultrasound scans provided by the NHS.

Why choose us for your private London ultrasound scan?

Sonoworld Diagnostic Services is registered with the CQC and has been trusted by the NHS and private sector since 2012 to provide unparalleled diagnostic ultrasound scan services. Our clients include healthcare professional such as GP's and consultant radiologists. This is because our clients know that at Sonoworld will get the best ultrasound scan service with no compromise in diagnostic accuracy or the level of service.

We offer the widest Range of ultrasound scans in London.

We offer a full range of private ultrasound scans for women such as:

Pelvic scan

Breast scans

Abdomen Ultrasound Scan

Kidneys, ureters & bladder scan

Thyroid and Neck ultrasound scans

Groin/Hernia scans

Soft tissue lumps & bumps

Our range of private ultrasound scans for men include:

Testicular ultrasound scan

Abdominal Ultrasound Scans

Kidneys, ureters & prostate scans

Neck and Thyroid scans

Groin/hernia scans

Soft tissue lumps & bumps

We also offer musculoskeletal ultrasound scans such as:

Shoulder scans

Elbows scans

Hands and wrists scans

Hip scans

Knee scans

Ankle and Feet

Soft tissue lumps & bumps

We offer vascular ultrasound scans such as:

Carotid ultrasound scan

Abdominal Aorta

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Venous insufficiency/Reflux scans

How much are private scans?

The price of private ultrasound scan will depend on the type of ultrasound scan you need. Our prices are competitive starting from as low as £99. There are no hidden extras and the price you see is the price you pay.

Be Breast Aware Ladies!
Private Ultrasound Scan at Sonoworld, London


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Monday, 19 February 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

An ultrasound scan of the upper abdomen will provide information about the appearance of your liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys and spleen.

This will help to diagnose or exclude a wide range of abdominal conditions normaly causing pain and discomfoirt in upper abdomen such as gallstones and kidneys stones .

No. Ultrasound is painless and safe. You will not feel any effect from it. There are no after effects.


3D/4D scans are bonding/entertainment scans and have hardly any diagnostic value and that is why they are not offered in the NHS.

All the diagnosis takes place with 2D technology.

It is reccomended to regular check the testis for any lumps or for anything that doesnt feel right.

Testis is the ovoid structure within the scrotal sack. Within the scrotal sack there is also the head, tail and body of the epididiymis.

The epididymis is full of small tubules where the sperm matures. These tubules sometimes get block and expand resulting on what is called epididymal cyst.

Epididymal cysts are harmless and very common.

Sometimes the tubules leak and sperm escapes within the scrotal sack resulting in pain sometimes. This is called hydrocoele.

Infections are also common in the testis resulting on an inflammed epididymis that can can also feel like a lump. 

It is also possible for cancer to be developed inside the testis and it is therefore very important if you find any mumps to have them checked as sson as possible.

The basic formula to calculate your estimated delivery date is very simple and works great if your average cycle length is 28 days. Simply add 280 days (or 40 weeks) to the first day of your last period. If you know when conception happened then just add 266 days (or 38 weeks).
However, things can get complicated if your cycle length is not 28 days or if your luteal phase length is not 14 days. 

The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include: Missed period. If you're in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. ... **Tender, swollen breasts. ... **Nausea with or without vomiting. ... **Increased urination. ... **Fatigue.

Steatosis or fatty liver as otherwise known, is a term that describes the buildup of fatty deposits in the liver. Having fat in your liver is normal, but if more than 5 to 10 percent is fat, then it's called fatty liver disease. Fatty liver is a reversible condition that can be resolved with diet and excersice.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a very common disorder and refers to a group of conditions where there is accumulation of excess fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. The most common form of NAFLD is a non serious condition called fatty liver.

In general, if you have fatty liver, and in particular if you have NASH, you should:

•lose weight – safely. ...
•lower your triglycerides through diet, medication or both.
•avoid alcohol.
•control your diabetes, if you have it.
•eat a balanced, healthy diet.
•increase your physical activity.

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can happen any time from conception  to the end of pregnancy. Light bleeding, or spotting, during pregnancy is common, especially during the first trimester. Im most cases this is no cause for alarm.

Breakthrough bleeding usually referring to mid-cycle bleeding in users of combined oral contraceptives, as attributed to insufficient estrogens. 

Bleeding or spotting are very common throughout a pregnancy. Most of the women however continue with a healthy pregnancy. You might be more at risk of miscarrying if you have heavy and bright red bleeding and are passing clots. But some women even with these symptoms do go on to have a healthy pregnancy.

An ultrasound guided injection is a therapeutic intervention where a pharmaceutical agent is administered in the body. Ultrasound is being used to guide the injection at the correct place.


There is no preparation for this test. You can eat and drink as normal. 

The ultrasound scan will not hurt. When you have the injection you will feel a small needle prick but it should not be too painful.

The symptoms usually improve about three days after the injection but this varies from person to person.

The benefits of the ultrasound guided injection may last for a few weeks or even months. You may need more than one injection to settle the symptoms. 

Ultrasound-guided injection is a common procedure.

There are some complications or risks associated with the procedure: 

  • Pain - sometimes the steroid injection can make the pain or discomfort temporarily worse. This called a ‘Steroid flare’. This can be more painful for approximately 2-3 days after injection. You may take your regular painkillers to provide relief during this time.
  •  Discolouration - very rarely a white dot or patch on the skin can appear after the injection, this called ‘Depigmentation’. This is rarely permanent and may last for few months.
  •  Fat atrophy – thinning of the fat, which may result in a dent in the skin.
  •  Skin thinning or skin dimpling – occasionally the skin overlying the injection becomes thin over the course of some months. This is particularly noticeable when several injections are given close to the skin surface. This side effect rarely happens.
  •  Tendon rupture – this is rare but steroids may weaken the tendon so it is important to avoid any strenuous activity or exercises for 3-4 weeks.
  •  Infection – it is very rare to get an infection.  
  • Allergic reaction is extremely uncommon.
  •  In patients with diabetes, blood sugar can elevate temporarily.
  •  No effect – the injection may not have any benefit.

Sound travels in waves. Ultrasound is sound which travels at a higher frequency than we can hear.

Ultrasound examinations known as scans are done by building up pictures from the return of sound waves as they bounce back from any resistance they meet. The sound waves can be directed to and bounced back from the surfaces of various structures within the body to form pictures on a television screen.

The ultrasound waves are sent to and from the body by moving a hand-held sensor which is similar to a microphone over the surface of the skin of the area to be examined. Pictures, known as images are taken for doctors and senior radiographers look at them and diagnose your condition.

Ultrasound scans can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions. They are also used to guide the position of needles for injections. 

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