Diastasis Recti Symptoms: Lower Back Pain

Diastasis recti symptoms include a host of common physical complaints, and lower back pain is one of them.

Diastasis recti, or abdominal wall separation, most often occurs when the growing fetus puts pressure on the linea alba, the connective tissue that runs down the midline of the abdomen. When the abdominal wall muscles separate, we lose support in the front and center of the body, compromising the physical structure of our core and posture. This shifts chronic muscle recruitment into a compensation pattern that puts stress and strain on our back muscles, which tend to become overly tight along with the hamstrings, leaving us in pain. For many women, diastasis recti does not spontaneously resolve itself after childbirth.

Diastasis Recti Symptoms: Resolving Lower Back Pain. Every Mother.
Diastasis Recti

Dealing with back pain as a new mother or seasoned parent is miserable, to begin with, but with diastasis recti, it can fully disrupt your life. From lifting, feeding, and carrying a newborn or toddler, to lugging around car seats, strollers, and big bags, to diaper changes and the countless other responsibilities that come with parenthood - it’s almost impossible to go a moment without using our core muscles. When our abdominal muscles are weakened from diastasis recti, our back muscles take the brunt of all of this lifting.

The good news is, you don’t have to live with lower back pain. In fact, of all the diastasis recti symptoms, this is the fastest to resolve.  The solution is EMbody Core Compressions. 

Core Compressions are the foundation of every Every Mother workout -  a technique designed to therapeutically activate the transverse abdominis (your deepest abdominal muscle) with proper coordination with the diaphragm and pelvic floor. I’ve found that within 3-4 days of beginning Core Compressions,  my clients experience dramatic improvements in back pain, often eliminating it entirely in less than a week. This is thanks to the efficiency with which this muscle engagement works to restore strength, form, and function while reducing chronic tension and muscle imbalances. Best of all, the body learns new movement and muscle recruitment patterns allowing the tissues to heal while your body internalizes healthier ways to move, rest and distribute the workload of daily life. 

Core Compressions in a tabletop position are particularly therapeutic and an excellent exercise for lower back pain relief. Keep reading for step by step instructions.

Diastasis Recti Symptoms: Resolving Lower Back Pain. Every Mother. Woman performing core compressions in table top.

How to perform Core Compressions in tabletop position:

  • Lower yourself onto your hands and knees. If you have any wrist discomfort or carpal tunnel syndrome, place the hands in fists with the palms facing each other. 
  • Before starting the exercise, take a few full, diaphragmatic breaths. Allow the torso to expand and the belly to drop as you take each breath; exhale as you draw the belly all the way up into the spine while keeping the back flat. This allows the back muscles to gently release while keeping the back in neutral alignment. 
  • Be sure to relax the shoulders and lift your eyes to gently direct your gaze a few feet in front of you. 
  • While keeping your back flat, soften the belly as you take a smaller breath, and then exhale as you squeeze and lift your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor up toward the spine in a controlled, “tight-tighter” muscle contraction. Allow a natural inhalation to occur as you release the muscles. Continue performing Core Compressions for 1-2 minutes, consciously exhaling each time you engage the core. Rest, and repeat for 5 sets. 

For detailed video coaching in the subtleties of performing 2-Tier Core Compressions, including when and how to incorporate the breath and the pelvic floor, visit the Foundations library at Every Mother. In addition to Core Compressions, which on their own can eliminate diastasis recti symptoms (including back pain) within days, our full-body workouts incorporate a variety of back mobility exercises, global strengthening exercises, and gentle stretches to restore muscle balance and promote healthy posture.

To learn more about diastasis recti symptoms and postpartum recovery, read,  A Pelvic Floor PT’s Guide to Healing Postpartum, and our Postpartum Recovery Tips and Self-Care Guide


By Leah Keller, Creator of the EMbody Program. Learn more about Leah here.

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