Benefits of Using an Abdominal Rehab Splint
FAQ's for Abdominal Rehab Splinting
An abdominal splint is a medical-grade, non-constricting support that reinforces the corset of the body. When worn properly, it helps pull together and stabilize the two sides of the abdominals to allow healing, reconnection, and support for the core, spine, and abdominal organs.
Can I use a splint without a program?
Splinting can be an essential part of healing and restoring your core muscles. However, most people don’t realize that abdominal splinting alone will not rehabilitate your core. In some cases, the incorrect or long-term use of a splint can make matters worse. The splint is designed to be a temporary transverse muscle during the process of rehabilitation so that you can wean from the splint and ultimately have a strong, rehabilitated core. The Tummy Team offers several online programs that take you through a step by step process of restoring your core so you can live a core-strong lifestyle. This is always the ultimate goal of splinting.
Can I do a rehab program without a splint?
Splinting is a valuable part of the rehab process, but it is not the whole program. It is possible to rehabilitate your core without a splint, however, we have seen many benefits of splinting alongside our rehab program. It can speed up the healing of diastasis recti, it provides sensory feedback to help you understand what your core muscles should feel like, it increases blood flow to the damaged tissue, and ultimately reinforces what we teach in our core rehabilitation program.
Will a splint help heal my diastasis recti?
Splinting will bring two sides of the separated abdominal wall together, placing the connective tissue in a lax position to speed up healing. The Tummy Team has been reversing diastasis recti for years and believes the comprehensive approach of splinting alongside a rehab program will bring the best results. Our program includes postural retraining, strengthening, and alignment to help heal diastasis recti. While splinting alone will not heal a diastasis or rebuild your core, splinting plays an essential role in the process and can make a big difference in your recovery.
Should I splint even if I don’t have diastasis recti?
You do not need to have diastasis recti to benefit from abdominal rehab splinting. The abdominal splint acts as a pair of training wheels for a weak and disconnected core, offering assistance until your postural muscles are strong enough to hold you up effectively throughout the day. The splint provides the sensory feedback to help you understand how your core should function. Splinting without rehab, or splinting for months at a time, is not recommended for optimal healing.
How much of the day is splinting recommended?
In most clients, we recommend abdominal splinting for most of your waking hours, every day for at least the first few weeks. It takes time to build up the tolerance for a splint while learning to engage and elongate your core, so give yourself time to get used to the splint during the first week. Remember that splinting is only a portion of core rehabilitation. How you hold yourself while splinting is key to your recovery. Focus consistently on slightly drawing your navel in away from the splint; don’t rest into the splint.
How long should I use a splint for?
The Tummy Team recommends clients splint consistently during their waking hours for the first 2-4 weeks of your rehab program, depending on the severity of your weakness. During our program, we will guide you in the process of weaning from your splint while encouraging you to use your transverse muscle more and more. Remember that the splint is meant to be temporary and helps place the muscles in proper alignment for rehabilitation. The transverse work you perform through exercise, posture and alignment, and functional activities is truly how the muscles heal and rebuild.
Should I splint at night?
Some clients who have a very severe diastasis may want to continue wearing it at night during their rehab process. If you have any kind of pain at night that is keeping you awake, or pain first thing in the morning, then splinting at night can be very beneficial. However, sleep is a very important part of healing so if the splint doesn’t help you sleep, then don’t wear it. Remember, splinting is only part of the rehab process.
Is it safe to splint with pelvic prolapse symptoms?
Yes. However, it is important to wear the splint exactly as directed – wear it a bit lower and scoop up and under the lower belly when applying the splint. (This is demonstrated in the “Fitting Yourself for a Splint” video on our Fit and Use page). Splinting should always make your symptoms better not worse. If you are feeling increased pelvic pressure when splinting, stop and review the instructions, or contact us for an appointment or Skype Session. Splinting is always recommended in coordination with one of our rehab programs.
What are the guidelines for splinting after a cesarean or abdominal surgery?
Always consult with your surgeon regarding their timing for splinting. Generally, as long as there is no drain or infection, clients are safe to splint immediately after the procedure. We recommend always wearing a layer under the splint against the skin. While fastening the splint, be sure to exhale and engage to be sure the splint is snug like a hug around your tummy. Gentle steady pressure often feels supportive. If you have any hypersensitivity to the area, start to address that with placing gentle counter pressure along the incision for a few minutes several times a day to help the nerves calm down. Always listen to your body. If splinting ever makes you feel worse, take a break.
Can I splint while I am pregnant?
Splinting during pregnancy can be very beneficial. To learn more, click here.