The angle of your costal margin can tell you a lot about what’s going on with your abdominal muscles in relation to diastasis recti.
To start, diastasis recti is a separation of the abdominal muscles along the linea alba that often happens during pregnancy. This can happen above, below, or at the level of the umbilicus. Closure begins to happen after delivery when estrogen levels drop but around 39% of postpartum women will see this separation persist and need assistance from a pelvic health specialist.
The transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and internal and external oblique muscles attach at the linea alba (connective tissue) and can effect proper closure if tight due to excessive lateral tensile force.
‼️Internal oblique when tight pulls the rib cage down and decreases the angle of the costal margin
‼️External oblique when tight widens the costal margin angle
So what does this mean?!🤷🏻♀️
As a provider, a postural assessment is CRUCIAL to help identify underlying musculoskeletal dysfunction before even placing hands on a patient. This observation paired with palpation and assessment of muscular tissues is often the first step in restoring normal form and function of the abdominal muscles before strengthening can happen.