However, injure these muscles, and the athlete will have significant difficulty trying to perform. The muscles of the abdomen are layered from deep to superficial including the transverse abdominis fibers run across the abdomeninternal and external obliques fibers run in opposite diagonal directionsand rectus abdominis fibers run up and down. Each has a function linked to its structure.
The deepest muscle, transverse abdominis constricts to hold the abdominal contents in place and to help with forced expiration, coughing, laughing, and sneezing. The most superficial muscle group is the rectus abdominis. The muscle fibers can be seen just under the skin as they rise and fall from their attached fascial sheath. The rectus abdominis is primarily responsible for trunk flexion, but can also assist in other trunk movement.
A strain is an injury to a muscle. A strain can vary in severity from a mild stretch to a full rupture. In an abdominal muscle strain, any one of the four muscles can be injured causing extreme discomfort with any trunk movements as well as with coughing, laughing, deep breathing, or sneezing. A mild stretching of a muscle is diagnosed as a first degree abdominal strain and can result in localized pain, mild swelling, and pain with movement, coughing, laughing, deep breathing, or sneezing. A more severe injury of an abdominal muscle is a partial tear or second degree.
Depending on the amount of fibers torn, this type of injury may be quite debilitating for the athlete. The athlete may experience sudden abdominal pain, marked tenderness, localized swelling, and discoloration. A third degree muscle strain is the most severe injury and is diagnosed as a complete muscle rupture either at its insertion, origin, or midsection.
Along with the symptoms of a second degree muscle strain, the athlete may also experience the symptoms of shock including nausea, vomiting, pale skin, excess perspiration, difficulty breathing, and a shallow and rapid heart rate. Athletes suspected of a full rupture muscle tear should be immediately removed from the activity and provided emergency medical care until emergency services arrives. The athlete should be kept still while an ice pack is applied to the injury.
An abdominal strain is easily diagnosed by a sports medicine professional with the use of a thorough medical history and complete clinical evaluation. Palpation of the injury site combined with abdominal muscle tests can provide enough information to determine the severity of the abdominal muscle injury as well as the specific muscle injured.
They are usually acute traumatic injuries seen in athletes in the sports of baseball, softball, basketball, gymnastics, and track and field. The most common causes of abdominal strains are sudden twisting i. If the force of the movement is stronger than the fibers of the muscles can withstand, the muscle will begin to stretch.
If the force continues, the fibers may begin to tear. Continued force could cause a complete rupture within the muscle or between the muscle and its fascial attachment. Athletes can prevent abdominal strains by maintaining the flexibility of their trunk and increasing the strength of their core muscles.
The good thing is that many sports programs already include core strength training exercises as part of their conditioning program. If athletes are involved in programs that do not incorporate core training, a large variety of these types of exercises are used by personal trainers, physical therapists, and certified athletic trainers.
These professionals can be consulted for additional or advanced exercises to strengthen core muscles. One core exercise that can be done without equipment is the bridge. It is easily performed and has a lot of variations that can be added to increase the difficulty level of the specific exercise. The athlete starts in a position lying on the floor.
As the athlete moves up into the bridge, the athlete should contract all of the muscles in and around the trunk and hold the bridge for 10 seconds. This can be repeated for a total of three sets of ten repetitions.An abdominal strain is a tear or rupture of part of the abdominal muscles, usually at the point where it attaches to the pelvis.
An immediate, severe pain in the abdominal muscles is a sign of a rupture, and the pain will exacerbate when the muscles contract. The strain can be caused by participation in sports such as pole vault, gymnastics, and rowing that use the whole body. An abdominal strain is a tear to the muscle or tendon usually of the rectus abdominus muscle although other muscles in the stomach area such as the internal obliques or external obliques can be affected.
Ruptures occur in weightlifters, throwers, gymnasts, rowers, wrestlers, pole vaulters and other sports which involve fast whole-body movements and changes of direction. If the athlete returns to training before the injury is allowed to heal fully then repeated injuries and chronic inflammation of the tendon may occur.
A full rehabilitation program consisting of abdominal and core strengthening exercises should be begun as soon as pain allows. A few basic exercises are shown below:. See core strengthening exercises for further information on more advanced exercises for the core and abdominal muscles. Chronic or persistent injuries may be given a steroid injection followed by rest for 2 weeks.
In rare cases, a surgeon may operate. If you rest as soon as there is a sign of injury then it should not take more than a couple of weeks to heal. If you have ruptured the muscle the healing time will depend on how bad the strain is. Skip to content. This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.
Click Here to Sign in or Apply. An abdominal strain can greatly affect your daily routine, whether you are a weekend warrior, a professional athlete, or someone who simply enjoys an active lifestyle. This injury may occur suddenly, but it can also develop gradually. Keep reading to learn how to identify an abdominal muscle strain and make your road to recovery less stressful.
Abdominal muscles support the spine, assist with breathing, and allow movement. The abdominal muscles consist of the transversus abdominis fibers running across the abdomenrectus abdominis fibers running up and downand the internal and external obliques fibers running in opposite diagonal directions. The rectus abdominis muscle is flat and long, while the transversus abdominis is flat and triangular. Also known as a pulled abdominal muscle, an abdominal muscle strain is a rupture or tear of the rectus abdominis.
It can be confused with or lead to a hernia. Major differences between an abdominal strain and a hernia include the nature of the pain and the appearance, location, and mechanism of injury. Hernias happen when the internal organs or the surrounding connective tissue pushes roughly through a weak part of abdominal muscles.
A sports hernia is a broad term for lower abdominal strain. This is actually a tearing of the posterior abdominal wall and does not always involve an actual hernia. Symptoms of a sports hernia are similar to those associated with groin and abdominal strains. A muscle strain occurs when the muscle tissue becomes torn and the muscle is stretched beyond its limits. Abdominal muscle strains are classified in three degrees, depending on severity. Determining the root cause of your abdominal wall strain can be tricky.
Consult your healthcare provider for a formal diagnosis, but consider these common causes of strained abdominal muscles:. Pain is the most common and obvious symptom of an abdominal muscle strain, but there are others to watch out for. Upper abdominal strain symptoms are typically the same as lower abdominal strain symptoms, differing only by location. Consult your doctor if you notice any of the following abdominal muscle strain symptoms.
Visit your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. Even if your condition does not seem serious, an accurate abdominal muscle strain diagnosis is crucial to a speedy recovery. Here are the safe and effective diagnostic procedures your doctor will use:.
A comprehensive physical exam is the first step in diagnosing an abdominal muscle strain. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and daily activities. They will then examine your belly and will likely ask you to do an exercise, such as a sit-up, to see if it causes discomfort. In the location of the strain, there will be swelling, tenderness, and often weakness. Your doctor will require an MRI scan to determine the extent of rupture.
MRI scans also rule out hernias. Your doctor can determine the best approach for your specific injury. Your abdominal strain treatment will require you to actively participate in your treatment program. Depending on the severity of your condition, the following are available treatment options.Whether you overdid it at the gym or working in the yard, abdominal strains are no laughing matter.
Stomach muscle pain after a pulled muscle can be so severe that it actually hurts to laugh, as well as stand erect or get up from a bed or chair.
Abdominal strain treatment typically includes rest, ice and compression. Pulled ab muscle recovery time depends on the severity of the strain and how well you adhere to the treatment plan. Overexerting yourself doing ab exercises or other physical activity, or simply twisting your torso the wrong way while picking something up off the ground, can cause your abdominal muscle fibers to overstretch or tearotherwise known as a "strained" or "pulled" muscle. The resulting stomach muscle pain can be either acute, meaning you feel it right away, or can show up later that day or the next day.
An abdominal muscle strain is different from the normal soreness you might feel after a tough workout. That is called delayed-onset muscle sorenessor DOMSwhich is typically less painful and subsides after a day or two.
The symptoms you experience after pulling an abdominal muscle depend on the severity of the strain. Typical symptoms can include:. Treatment for your abdominal muscle strain depends on the severity of the injury. Mild and moderate strains can usually be treated at home, while serious strains may require medical treatment and surgery.
There are six steps you should take to properly heal strained abdominal muscles. Your doctor will ask how the strain occurred and whether or not you noticed a pop at the time of injury. After assessing your symptoms and observing the site of the strain, she can make a diagnosis. If the muscle strain is moderate to severe, your doctor may perform X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging MRI to determine the scope of your injury.
If your strain is not serious, your doctor will likely recommend treatment at home with rest, ice, compression and pain relievers if necessary. If your injury is severe, your doctor will recommend medical treatment and may refer you to a specialist. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you should not continue exercising, playing sports or doing any strenuous activity after a muscle strain.
Doing so can cause you further injury and increase abdominal strain recovery time. For mild to moderate strains, you should rest the abdominal muscles until the swelling, pain and muscle weakness have subsided.
In the case of severe strains, you will need to follow your doctor's guidance as to how long you need to rest. Applying ice to the abdomen will help relieve swelling and inflammation. You can use an ice pack, a bag of ice cubes or a bag of frozen vegetables. Do not apply the ice directly to your skin; wrap it in a towel or apply it on top of your clothing. Icing is most effective if you do it immediately after the injury and for the next couple of days. Apply the ice for 20 minutes as often as every hour, or at least four to eight times a day.A pulled abdominal muscle is a relatively common, troublesome injury among physically active people.
The injury muscle fiber tearing in one or more of the muscles of the abdominal wall.
Know the Difference: Abdominal Strain VS. Hernia
Also known as an abdominal muscle strain, this type of injury ranges from mild to severe, depending on the extent of tearing. Signs and symptoms of a pulled abdominal muscle are usually obvious, and develop either immediately or shortly after the injury. An abdominal strain characteristically causes pain and tenderness at the sight of the tear. This usually occurs almost instantaneously after the tear develops, although there might be a short delay with a mild abdominal strain.
The pain is usually well localized rather than diffuse, and is aggravated by any activity that causes stretching of the injured muscle -- such as coughing, sneezing, reaching or twisting.
The pain gradually diminishes as the injury heals, which can take several weeks to months. Spasm of a strained abdominal muscle can occur following the injury. As a pulled abdominal muscle develops due to muscle fiber overstretching, reflexive contraction in the form of a spasm protects the area from further injury.
Severe abdominal strains involving a sizable tear or complete muscle rupture can lead to bruising and swelling over the site of the injury. As these signs indicate a significant injury, immediate medical attention is necessary should swelling or bruising develop. A complete abdominal muscle rupture is a relatively rare, serious injury.
It typically incapacitates the person, who often collapses to the ground -- usually while remaining conscious. Internal bleeding, severe pain or both can lead to nausea, vomiting, cold sweating, difficulty breathing and a rapid heart rate. Any of these signs and symptoms in association with a suspected abdominal muscle injury indicates the need for emergency medical attention.
Seek immediate medical care if you experience any signs or symptoms that might indicate a serious abdominal muscle strain. Even if your injury does not seem severe, it's helpful to consult with your doctor to determine the best approach for managing a pulled abdominal muscle so that it doesn't become a source of ongoing pain. Occasionally, an abdominal muscle strain might be confused with or lead to a hernia, in which a portion of the intestines protrudes through the abdominal wall.
See your doctor as soon as possible if you develop an abdominal wall bulge that might indicate a hernia. Seek emergency medical care if the bulge is associated with any warning signs or symptoms, including: -- severe or increasing pain in the area of the bulge -- hardening of the bulge -- redness or warmth of the skin over the bulge -- nausea and vomiting. Adam Fonseca has been a writer and blogger since He maintains a number of different blogs on a variety of subjects ranging from health care to golf.
Fonseca has a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Phoenix and degrees in health science and psychology from Bradley University. Monitor the health of your community here. More Articles. Written by Adam Fonseca. Winter Griffith, M. About the Author.Stomachaches are a common complaint in children and adults. The upper stomach houses several vital structures, including the upper intestines, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.
While many issues responsible for upper stomach pain, such as gas or a stomach virus, are not cause for concern, others may require medical treatment. Several conditions can cause upper stomach pain. In many cases, one condition can lead to another. For example, ulcers may cause indigestionor gallstones may cause liver dysfunction. In this article, learn about ten possible causes of upper stomach pain, as well as treatment options and when to see a doctor.
Gas occurs naturally in the intestines and digestive tract. When this gas accumulates, it can cause feelings of pressure, bloating, or fullness. An infection, virus, diarrheaor constipation can cause gas pain to become very intense. Gas pain is not usually serious, and over-the-counter OTC medicines can help. A person can also try eating more slowly to avoid swallowing air and prevent the gas from getting worse.
Some people notice that certain foods, such as broccoli, are more likely to cause gas pain. Gas usually goes away, without treatment, within a few hours.
If it occurs with a feveruncontrolled vomiting, or intense pain, it is best to see a doctor. Indigestion is a burning feeling in the upper stomach, and sometimes in the mouth or throat. The pain may also feel like it stems from the chest. The medical term for indigestion is dyspepsia. It usually appears when there is too much acid in the stomach, which can happen after eating highly acidic foods.
Less commonly, indigestion can result from a stomach ulcer, acid refluxor even stomach cancer. Frequent indigestion that is very painful or occurs with unexplained weight loss could be a sign of a more serious concern.An abdominal muscle strain, also called a pulled abdominal muscle, is an injury to one of the muscles of the abdominal wall.
A muscle strain occurs when the muscle is stretched too far. When this occurs the muscle fibers are torn. Most commonly, a strain causes microscopic tears within the muscle, but occasionally, in severe injuries, the muscle can rupture from its attachment. Abdominal muscle strains usually cause immediate pain in the area of the injured muscle.
Abdominal Strain - The Complete Injury Guide
It can be hard to flex the muscle because of this pain. The other common symptom is muscle spasm of the injured muscle.
Less commonly, swelling and bruising can result from a muscle injury. An abdominal strain is sometimes confused with an epigastric hernia in which the lining of the abdominal cavity protrudes through the abdominal wall. While the symptoms are similar, a hernia will often cause a bulge on the surface of the belly. Treatment of an abdominal muscle injury is difficult. There's no way to splint the abdomen and it's nearly impossible to fully rest these muscles. That said, the most important step after you sustain an abdominal muscle strain is to allow the muscle to cool down so that the inflammation can subside.
Avoiding exercise to allow the injured muscle to heal is important. Activities that cause pain or spasm of the abdominal muscles should also be avoided. Gentle stretching is helpful, but it should not be painful. Stretching excessively can be harmful, and even slow the healing process. Apply ice to the injured area in the acute phase the first 48 hours after injuryand then after activities. One the injury is fully healed, you can avoid reoccurrence by practicing some common-sense preventive tips.
If you have symptoms of a severe abdominal strain, you should be evaluated for proper treatment. If normal daily activities such as walking, sitting, or sleeping are disrupted because of your injury, then you should have the injury evaluated by a doctor. If you're unsure if you have an abdominal strain or the symptoms do not quickly resolve, then you should be evaluated.
Physicians and physical therapists can be helpful in guiding you in treatment that may speed your recovery.
Some people find treatments such as ultrasound, therapeutic massage, and specific exercises particularly helpful. You should see your physician to determine if these would be appropriate for your condition. Dealing with joint pain can cause major disruptions to your day.
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