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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2022 July-August;181(7-8):531-6

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.21.04664-7

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Ultrasound analysis of morphological changes in the abdominal wall in postpartum women with diastasis recti: a cross-sectional study

Álvaro PUELLES , Joaquín GONZÁLEZ, André PIZARRO, Francisca GALLEGUILLOS, Camila TORRES 1, Aranza FABREGA

School of Kinesiology, University of La Serena, La Serena, Chile



BACKGROUND: Diastasis of the rectus abdominal muscles (DRAM) is a condition with a high prevalence during the gestation and postpartum stage which can cause alterations in different systems. The loss of strength in the abdominal muscles is an aspect of great relevance, however, there is little research to investigate its cause.
METHODS: The design of this study was analytical, observational and cross-sectional. Two-dimensional ultrasound images of muscle thickness (MT) were recorded using a linear probe (10 MHz) of thirty postpartum women presenting with DRAM (N.=16) and without diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscles (DRAM-f) (N.=14) at rest and contraction of rectus abdominis muscle in its superior region (SRA) and inferior region (IRA), transversus abdominis muscle (TrAM), internal (IO) and external (EO) abdominal oblique muscle. The objective of this study was to explore the association between the presence of diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscles (DRAM) and the change in muscle thickness of each muscle of the abdominal wall when performing a contraction.
RESULTS: There was a significant increase in change of muscle thickness (ChMT) during the SRA contraction in the DRAM group compared with the DRAM-f group (p= 0.04). The TrAM, IO and EO did not show significant differences in morphometric changes when comparing both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Increase of change in muscle thickness when performing a contraction is associated with the presence of DRAM in postpartum women, it is suggested that future research take into account the application of training focused on the motor control of the RA for the purpose to analyze its long-term effect in reducing this condition.


KEY WORDS: Ultrasonography; Abdominal muscles; Postpartum period; Muscle contraction; Abdominal wall

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