Reply To: Possible Hernia and Seeking Insight

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Possible Hernia and Seeking Insight Reply To: Possible Hernia and Seeking Insight


Hi Brooke-
While I cannot address the hernia specifically, I suspect that at least some of your problems may be due to a diastasis recti – a stretching of the connective tissue (linea alba) which joins your rectus abdominis muscles along the midline of your abdomen. This is common during pregnancy due to pregnancy hormones which relax the connective tissue. You have a greater chance of a lasting diastasis if you have multiple pregnancies or bigger babies.

It s also possible to have groin area edema after surgery, which can put pressure on sensitive areas. (I say this because your symptoms worsen with prolonged standing, and improve when lying down or exercising)

You can find lots of information on diastasis recti on the web- some of it conflicting, but I strongly suggest that you also find good physical therapist who specializes in this. They usually seem to be listed under pelvic floor physical therapy or women’s rehabilitation (even though men can also have DR).

Since I also live near Pittsburgh, PA, I will tell you that I have found very helpful physical therapists in this area. I’m not sure of your insurance, but I have a UPMC plan and PT visits are covered with a copay. If you go online, look for UPMC centers for Rehab Services (they have several locations) and look under Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy and/ or Women’s Rehabilitation. Also, if you search their site for diastasis recti, they have good info there.

In the meantime, avoid doing exercises like sit-ups and crunches, which can exacerbate DR. Your PT can show you how to strengthen your core without further stretching the connective tissue. They often seem like “easy” exercises, to start, because you are using small movements to activate your weaker transverse abdominis instead of stronger efforts using your rectus abdominis, but my results were very noticeable.

(I am in my mid-50s, and have a DR and incisional hernia which developed 5 mos. after midline incision hysterectomy/cancer surgery in 9/2018. I did have a milder DR visible on my CT-scan prior to surgery ( I had 2 kids over 25 years ago) but was never told. The hernia is still there, but PT has strengthened my core, making lifting easier and eliminating back pain.)

I hope your CT-scan gives you some answers.
Best of Luck

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