Abdominal Separation AKA DRAM. What is it and can it be treated?

by (Physiotherapist)

What is Abdominal Separation AKA DRAM?

by Khoa Pham

Abdominal separation also know as Diastasis Rectis Abdominis (DRAM) is commonly overlooked after giving birth. A DRAM is a separation down the middle of the abdominal muscles, see picture below. It is important to get a DRAM assessed because it can increase your risk of having low back issues, hernias and pelvic instability later in life.


What causes a DRAM?

DRAMs can be affected by factors such as:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Weight gain
  • Abdominal muscle weakness and
  • Abdominal muscle stretching due to growth of the baby.

It can also affect men who have placed excessive stress on their abdominal muscles.

How can a DRAM cause lower back issues?

A simple explanation of how a weak core (caused by a DRAM) can result in lower back issues is:

When the Transverse Abdominis (TA) is not activated properly, there is less support for the ligaments and bony structures of your back when you’re doing day-to-day things. This increases your risk of injury. The TA is one of your most important core muscles, it lies below the six-pack muscle and wraps around your back to support it like a corset.

Is a DRAM treatable?

Yes, … read more »

Mat Pilates Exercises to Try at Home!

by (Osteopath & Clinical Pilates Instructor)

Mat Pilates is well known form of exercise and is commonly used as a beginner level for new clients wishing to try Pilates. The focus of mat Pilates is to establish the body’s core or ‘powerhouse’ as creator Joseph Pilates would have called it. The ‘Powerhouse’ refers to the muscles of the pelvic floor, lower back, hips, glutes and abdomen. Establishing control and strength in these muscles is the function of Pilates.

Below are some examples of Mat Pilates exercises that can be completed at home. Please make sure you have medical clearance before trying any new exercises at home.

pilates 100s BrookePilates 100’s-

Start lying on your back. Roll the head and shoulder up off the mat and engage the core. Leg should be lifted off the mat also and held long in front of the body or in table top (bent) position as an alternative.

The arms should be held to the side of the body held out straight and long. In a controlled manner, the arms should beat up and down while taking five short breaths in and five short breaths out.

The focus of this exercise should be on keep the body still and controlled while the arms … read more »

A brief history of Pilates

by (Osteopath & Clinical Pilates Instructor)

Pilates BrookeDid you know Pilates was created by a man?

There is a common stigma around Pilates that it is centered on females, dancers and those individuals alike. It was in fact Joseph Pilates who was the creator of Pilates back in the 1920’s.
Joseph Pilates has a background in Swedish gymnastics, martial arts, body building, skiing and diving. One of Joseph’s first jobs was a self-defense instructor where he went on to train the police.
A few years later, during world war one, he designed some of the Pilates mat exercise that are still practiced today. It is thought that due to these exercises, none of his fellow mates fell sick with the influenza epidemic that killed thousands. These exercises are still practiced today due to positive impact on health and the body.

There is also a stigma that Pilates is easy as it doesn’t involve vigorous cardio or large weights. This is a myth! Pilates exercises focus on deep intrinsic muscles rather than large muscles that you see in the mirror. It tones and sculpts the body from the inside out, focusing on the 6 primary principles- concentration, control, centering, precision, flow and breathing. These principles in combination with … read more »

What is Clinical Pilates?

by (Osteopath & Exercise Scientist)

Clinical Pilates article postClinical Pilates is a modified form of exercise that was developed and used by physiotherapists to help with the rehabilitation and prevention of muscular injuries. It may be the perfect therapy to help strengthen your core muscles. Specialised equipment such as reformers may be used along with floor exercises and exercises performed on a ball.  One of the major focuses of this type of therapy is the development of strength in the core muscles – the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.  Along with this, Clinical Pilates focuses on postural education and allowing optimal movement in the body.

How does Clinical Pilates Differ from Standard Pilates?

Clinical Pilates is different to standard Pilates in that you are individually assessed by a physiotherapist and then given exercises that specifically target your problem areas.  The physiotherapist closely supervises your technique, and grades the exercises so that injuries are prevented.  In addition  Private Heathcare rebates are available.

Benefits of Clinical Pilates

Some general benefits of Clinical Pilates include:

• the correction of poor mechanics that underlie injuries
• improved posture and flexibility
• firmer and flatter stomach muscles
• improved core stabilisation
• better control over breathing
• less likelihood of injury
• … read more »