• Diastasis refers to the separation of the left and right walls of your abdomen (in the area of “the six-pack”) causing a bulging belly, pushing outward, apparent when straining or lifting the head or upper body while lying on the back. It is present in women as well as men It is medically referred to as Diastasis recti.
  • It can bulge out from top to bottom, or appear rounded and wide.
  • In the extreme, the diastasis can cause a stretch and separation which causes the encasement of some organs (peritoneum) beneath to protrude through the gap in the walls.


  • In woman resulting from one or more pregnancies; the pressure of the fetus inside the uterus continuously rests against the back wall of the abdomen and pushes outward, overstretching and thereby weakening the center wall.
  • It can also be present in men or women from too many sit ups, weightlifting, obesity, or frequent or rapid changes in weight,
  • Any other causes which increase pressure inside the body, weakening the anterior (front) abdominal wall.


  • Some people are unhappy with the appearance of a bulging belly
  • Others have associated lower back pain.


Straining, including when lifting can increase the problem. Also, straining due to constipation exacerbates the problem. Swimming. Some yoga positions (like downward dog), and doing anything on your hands and knees.

Stress and strain due to crunches, pushups, press-ups, and front planks, make abdominal separation worse.


  • Gently manipulating the tissue away from the back wall of the abdomen
  • Instructing in an exercise program for core strengthening

As noted by many studies, physical therapy is the go-to conservative treatment.  But, only recently, has there been a breakthrough which identifies the area of restrictions (pulling) in the back wall of the abdomen. Because of this breakthrough, a new treatment has been developed.

It has been found that over time, the back wall of the abdominal cavity binds against in inside of the back of the body (in front of the spinal column). Because of that, it tugs on the front of the body, stretching and pulling the attachments away from the middle of the abdominals. This causes a separation from side to side, allowing the insides to protrude outward when straining.

Fortunately, I was instructed by one of the authors of this study, Brandi Kirk, PT. She demonstrated the technique which released the restrictions and allows the front of the abdomen to return to a more normal position, closing the gap in the front of the abdomen.

What Our Patients Have To Say


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A:  Firstly, I don’t believe in doing what didn’t work before. Many physical therapy practices approach a problem by going to the painful region. Oftentimes, this is a very temporary fix. By taking a holistic, hands-on approach, I understand that your pain may be coming from another part of the body, or even have multiple sources, including posture. By individualizing your treatment, I concentrate on healing and re-balancing the body, to manage your pain and lessen the chance of it returning. Then, I teach you how to manage your posture and movement.

A: Treatments for headaches or other pain from a recent problem will generally benefit from 2 treatment sessions for the first 2 weeks, then 1 session per week. Older conditions will benefit from 2 treatment sessions for the first week and then 1 session per week. Wellness sessions to rebalance and optimize the body for healthy aging range from a single session every month to once every six months and will be recommended on an individual basis.

A: An initial evaluation will take 1 hour. (Scar adhesion or sinus treatments only require 45 minutes.) Most follow-up treatments will be done in 30 minute sessions; multiple body areas may require 45 minutes

A: Any heavy exercise or recreational program should be done prior to the physical therapy or wellness session and then not for 24 hours after, in order for the body to adjust itself to the changes in muscle balance.

A: I will teach you techniques to perform on yourself if there is a flare-up and instruct you on proper body mechanics and ergonomics.

A: It is a facial aesthetics program of wrinkle reduction and facial rejuvenation using hands-on physical therapy and osteopathic techniques which may reduce the signs of aging in the face and neck. A FREE HEALTHY AGING CONSULTATION is available. See Refacée®

A: Although many patients have health insurance, Baltimore Holistic Physical Therapy does not participate with health insurances.

A: Appointments may be made in the following ways: Please call 410-665-3223 Email: Dr.Susan@baltimoreholisticpt.com