Congenital Diastasis Rectus Abdominis
Congenital Diastasis of Rectus Abdominis: What is it? Does it cause problems? Do we treat? When do we treat? What are the treatment possibilities?
Diastasis recti is caused by a relative weakness of the fascia between the two rectus abdominus muscles. It is not a herniation nor pathologic. Very little information about the diastases and possible related functional problems in newborns and young children is available. This could be because it has never been considered to be anything but benign. However, parents do worry when their newborn presents with a diastasis. They are reassured by pediatricians and in many cases rightly so, that the diastasis does slowly disappear with time.
The anatomy and physiology of the stomach wall will be presented and the similarities and differences to the adult acquired diastasis will be discussed. Research of treatment options for the congenital diastasis recti abdominis (cDRA) are nowhere to be found.
Treatment suggestions resulting from adult research of the acquired diastasis, cannot simply be applied to children with a congenital diastasis.
The question is if the cDRA can be the cause of motor problems.
A few other critical questions to ask ourselves:
- Does it have a detrimental role in breathing, postural control, force transmission, balance, pressure management & body growth?
- Does this differ per age and condition of the child?
- When do we need to check for a diastasis?
- What is current practice?
- What are treatment options?
- When do we decide we need to start addressing and at which age?
We are seeing more and more young children with motor problems and a diastasis of their abdominal wall. These children present with a big ‘low tone’ tummy, balance problems, incontinence, general gross motor clumsiness, or multiple falls.
A diastasis has been observed in children presenting with early-onset scoliosis, with generalized low tone, and children born prematurely. Children are unable to recruit their rectus abdominus muscles effectively during everyday activities and we see often see that they have become very good at hiding this with ‘motor tricks’. A child born with CP, Down Syndrome, developmental delay, or an omphalocele will all need a different treatment plan.
We need to ask ourselves if we think this diastasis is causing difficulties in every single case. If tape and the taping protocol are to be used, will depend on the results of our assessment and the treatment goals.
Children with a cDRA present with a clear body function problem but treatment will differ greatly and should always be custom made.
Join Esther de Ru, pediatric physiotherapist, for this on-demand 90-minute presentation to address the challenging questions posed above and treatment options for congenital diastasis recti abdominis.
This online course is for physiotherapists and rehabilitation professionals working with children. This includes, but is not limited to, physiotherapists (physical therapists), occupational therapists, kinesiologists, and physiotherapy and occupational therapy assistants (PTA/OTA).
After attending this online course participants will:
- Have an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the stomach wall
- Know the possible consequences of having a diastasis of the Linea Alba
- Be able to judge if the diastasis is causing problems and know how to assess and understand the various symptoms.
- Understand the need for custom-made solutions to the resulting functional problems that will differ per child.
- Complimentary access to the recorded webinar, which will be posted on Embodia Academy 1-3 business days following the live webinar
- Downloadable PDF of the slides
- A certificate of completion
PT, OMT, PPT
Esther de Ru is a physiotherapist from the Netherlands whose passion and energy for all things related to pediatrics is stunning. Maybe best known for her work in elastic therapeutic taping, she is keenly interested in skin, our outer brain, using skin stretch and massage to enhance movement and address dysfunction. Her other passion is scoliosis management.
As past chair of the Committee Practice of the IOPTP (International Organisation of Physical Therapists in Paediatrics) and international instructor and author, Esther emphasizes the need to work very hands-on in our profession.
Semi-retired, Esther travelled the world teaching and sharing her knowledge as a true clinician who values not only the evidence base, but the patient's experience and the intuitive wisdom that comes with real work in the real world.
Course Material included in this course
Welcome and Resources
Sequencing motor activation trunk muscles
DRA tape instruction sheet
Anterior Abdominal Wall Muscles and the Abdominal Aponeurosis
Axial Muscles: Part 3 Thoracic and Abdominal
Congenital Diastesis Rectus Abdominis
Linea Alba and Childhood Development
Esther's Exercise Program
Conclusion and Questions
Children with Down Syndrome Presenting with Congenital Diastesis Rectus Abdominis