Abdominal Muscle Strain
(Pulled Muscle in Abdomen; Strain, Abdominal Muscle)
An abdominal muscle strain is a partial or full tear of the small muscle fibers in the abdomen.
This problem may be caused by:
- An activity that the muscle is not ready for
- Excessive exercise
- Improper technique while playing sports
- Lifting heavy objects
- Sharply twisting the body
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Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
- Playing certain sports, such as football or tennis
- Previous strain or injury to the area
- Muscle fatigue
- Tight abdominal muscles
Problems may be:
- Pain that may be worse when sneezing, coughing, or twisting the body
- Pain when touching the area
- Swelling or bruising
- Muscle spasms
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Most people get better in a few weeks. The goal of treatment is to ease pain and improve movement. This may be done with:
The risk of this problem may be lowered by:
- Using the right techniques when playing sports or doing things like lifting heavy objects
- Stretching and strengthening the abdominal muscles
- Resting when muscles are tired
- Muscle strain (pulled muscle). Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/orthopaedic-surgery/specialty-areas/sports-medicine/conditions-we-treat/muscle-strains.html. Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Sprains, strains, and tears. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/files-for-resource-library/sprains-strains-and-tears.pdf?sfvrsn=5b229fcf_2. Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
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