Abdominal Muscle Strain
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:
- 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
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Recovery time ranges depending on the grade of your injury. Treatment steps may include:
Your muscle will need time to heal. Supportive care may involve:
- Rest—Activities may need to be restricted. Normal activities will be gradually reintroduced.
- Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling. Heat or cold may be advised throughout recovery if they provide benefits.
Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be advised to reduce pain.
A physical therapist will assess the muscles. An exercise program will be created to help recovery and to strengthen the muscles.
To help reduce your chance of getting another abdominal muscle strain, take the following steps:
- 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.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Pulled Muscle in Abdomen; Strain, Abdominal Muscle)
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Canadian Physiotherapy Association http://www.physiotherapy.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Muscle strain (pulled muscle). Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsortho.org/muscle%5Fstrain.html. Accessed March 7, 2018.
Sprains, strains, and tears. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/sprains-strains-and-tears.pdf. Published 2011. Accessed March 7, 2018.
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