Abdominal Muscle Strain
(Pulled Muscle in Abdomen; Strain, Abdominal Muscle)
- Activity that the muscle is not ready for
- Excessive exercise
- Improper technique while playing sports
- Lifting heavy objects
- Sharply twisting the body
|Abdominal Muscles—Side View|
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- Improper technique during sports activities, especially running and jumping.
- Previous strain or injury to the area.
- Muscle fatigue.
- Tight abdominal muscles.
- Muscle pain or soreness immediately after an injury
- Stiffness and discomfort
- Problems flexing or pain while stretching the muscle
- Pain when touching the area
- Muscle spasms
- Swelling or bruising
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro tearing of muscle fibers.
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers.
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers. This may also be called a rupture or avulsion.
- Do not do activities that cause pain. This includes running, jumping, and weight lifting using the abdominal muscles.
- Do not play sports until your doctor has said it is safe to do so.
- Over-the-counter medication, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen
- Topical pain medication—creams or patches that are applied to the skin
- Prescription pain relievers
- Do not overexert yourself while exercising.
- Get proper training for sports and exercises.
- Do exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
- Learn how to properly lift heavy objects.
- If you are tired, stop exercising.
American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor http://www.aafp.org
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
Canadian Physiotherapy Association http://www.physiotherapy.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Abdominal muscles. Better Health Channel website. Available at: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Abdominal%5Fmuscles?open. Updated January 9, 2013. Accessed April 26, 2013.
Johns Hopkins sports medicine patient guide to muscle strain. John Hopskin Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsortho.org/muscle%5Fstrain.html. Accessed April 26, 2013.
Muscle strain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Accessed April 26, 2013.
Sprains, strains, and tears. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/sprains-strains-and-tears.pdf. Accessed April 26, 2013.
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 04/2013
- Update Date: 03/18/2013