A pulled abdominal muscle, also known as muscle strain, can occur to almost anyone. It happens as a result of an injury to the abdominal area that puts excess strain on the area. These pulls or tears, can be mild, moderate or severe and they can be from a muscle fiber strain or even a tear, the pain can vary from slight to severe, and in the severe cases you may be experiencing an umbilical hernia. Some simple home remedies can help to ease the pain.
Symptoms of Pulled Abdominal Muscles
Pulled abdominal muscles can happen to anyone, from a professional athlete to someone simply lifting an object that may be either too heavy or just lifted in the wrong way. Not to worry though, these types of muscle strains or pulls are, in most cases, pretty minor and easy to treat.
1. Mild strain
A small level of pain usually accompanies these types of muscle strains to the abdomen. Your mobility will not be compromised, but taking an over-the-counter medication that can help with the pain and slight inflammation you may have, will be helpful. The mild strain tends to last only a few days.
2. Moderate strain
With this type of strain you will experience a higher pain level, which unfortunately requires you to limit some of your usual activities until it heals. Twisting and turning are out, and if you are experiencing difficulties not performing those activities, it may be necessary to see a doctor, as they may want to give you a specific bandage that can help you to stay away from these movements.
3. Acute strain
With an acute strain, you will experience severe pain, which will require you to take medication in order to control the pain. The evaluation of this type of pain is done on a case-to-case basis, in some cases bruising may be present along with muscle spasms, which would require you to restrict most physical activities until the strain heals completely.
Home Remedies for Pulled Abdominal Muscles
How to treat an abdominal muscle strain:
The very best treatment for a pulled abdominal muscle is just rest. It sounds easy, but if you think about it your abdominal muscles are used for almost all your movements, such as the acts of sitting up, standing up etc. It is almost impossible to rest your abdominal muscle completely, all the time. If you are experiencing discomfort due to these necessary movements, your local pharmacy carries a variety of tapes and wraps, which can help to prevent excessive movements. Seek a proper position while resting for best results.
2. Ice and warm compress
Begin with ice packs as they can help to reduce inflammation and numb the area, which can help the pain to subside. The heat wraps can be used. These wraps can help to soothe the sore muscles and relax the muscles to relieve the tenderness you might be experiencing.
3. OTC drugs
For the reduction of the inflammation and to help ease the pain, you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as Ibuprofen.
Exercises to relieve pulled abdominal muscles:
Diagnosis and Treatments
A physical examination is the first step in the diagnosis of a pulled abdominal muscle. In the area of the strain, there will be tenderness, some swelling and usually a loss of strength there. If X-rays are taken, they will fail to show any muscle rupture, this can only be detected by palpation (touching). The doctor can, if they suspect a hernia, take an MRI, CT or an ultrasound.
Check if it’s hernia
If your strain is acute and you experience severe pain that feels as though it is debilitating, or if you fail to get relief from the home remedies, you need to see a physician. The physical examination, which includes palpating the abdomen, and ultrasound, will help to see if there are any tears present or if you actually have a hernia. If the outcome is that there is no major damage, the physician can give you a corticosteroid injection directly into the area of the abdomen that is affected, so that you feel immediate relief from the pain, and/or prescribe a pain reliever for you. The physician will normally, before discharge, go over with you the need for rest and let you know when you can ease back into your normal activities.
In the most serious or severe cases a physician can discuss options including pain medications, physical therapy, and in some cases the possibility of surgery, which may be indicated to prevent you from any further damage or complications.