05 Feb 2023
31 Jan 2023
Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA) is a common postpartum condition with predominance women who have undergone multiple pregnancies and births. It is characterized by an abnormal gap between adjacent recti abdominis muscles and weakness of the abdominal segment with impairment of effective trunk function, among other complications. Structured physical exercises have great potentials of resolving DRA with improved muscular strength outcomes. This study evaluated the effects of structured abdominal exercise on the closure of Inter Recti Distance (IRD) among multiparous women. Thirty (30) multiparous women presenting with varying degrees of DRA participated in this quasi-experimental study and were randomly assigned into two groups (experimental – 23 and control – 7). Participants in the experimental group performed isometric abdominal exercises over a four-week period while those in the control group practiced only low-impact jogging exercises. Using the analysis of variance (ANOVA), the exercise group recorded significantly decreased mean IRD at p< 0.05, and also were able to carry out more sustained crunch exercises, when compared to the control group. Within the exercise group, there was also comparative significant increase in mean abdominal muscle strength. The outcome of the study shows that exercises may enhance abdominal muscle strength and potentiate closure of IRD, as well as improve functional activities of daily living in postpartum women.