Diastasis Rectus Abdominis and the Implications for Returning to Sport after Pregnancy

Diane Lee

This article is compiled in part from excerpts reproduced from the following text chapters and articles and briefly describes the key components that highlight the principles of the Integrated Systems Model for Pain & Disability and demonstrates how the model is applied to those with diastasis rectus abdominis. (Lee LJ, Lee D 2011, Lee D et al 2008, Lee D 2011)

Increasingly, scientific evidence suggests that function of the pelvis is essential for the performance of almost every task. "When the pelvis gives way, it's tough to play" is a statement that can be applied to both genders of all age groups pertaining to a wide spectrum of activity levels from the need to transfer from wheelchair to bed, to those competing in elite level sports. However, how do we know if the pelvis is the cause of the patient's primary complaint (the criminal) or merely the victim of an impairment elsewhere? The restoration of function and performance depends on being able to identify and treat the underlying source of the problem and it is common to find that the pelvis is, in some cases the criminal and the victim in others. The Integrated Systems Model for Pain & Disability (ISM) (Lee & Lee 2007, Lee 2011) helps clinicians to determine the primary driver when there are multiple sites of impairment, i.e. to know where to direct treatment first when there is failure to control movement of multiple joints such as the sacroiliac joint, subtalar joint and hip joint during a single leg loading task.The ISM approach uses sound clinical reasoning integrated with the available research evidence to develop prescriptive treatment programmes unique to each individual's story...

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