What is an Abdominal Strain?
A sprain is an injury caused by twisting or straining the ligaments
of a joint. People commonly call such an injury a "pulled" muscle. Your
abdominal muscles may be strained during a forceful activity.
How does Abdominal Strain occur?
Abdominal strain occurs during vigorous activity, such as lifting a
heavy object. Ruptures are most common in weightlifters, throwers,
gymnasts, rowers, wrestlers and pole vaulters.
Symptoms of Abdominal Strain:
- Tenderness and inflammation over an area of the rectus abdomens (usually at the bottom).
- A sharp pain in the abdominal muscles.
- An increase in pain when the abdominal muscles are contracted e.g. doing a stomach crunch.
Treatment for Abdominal Strain:
- Rest until there is no pain.
- Apply heat for example with a hot water bottle or with electric heating belt(after the first 48 hours of injury).
- See a doctor who could provide anti-inflammatory medication.
- See sports injury specialist who could tell some exercises.
When can I return back to my sport or activity?
The goal of exercises and medicines is to return you back to your
sport or activity as soon as possible and as safely as possible. But, if
you try to return to your sport or activity too soon, when the injury
has not even cured properly you may worsen your injury, and may damage
your muscle permanently. Every person has a different recovering rate
from an injury. Returning to your sport or activity will be determined
by your recovering ability, the sooner your abdominal muscles recover,
the soon you can return to your sport or activity. Returning to your
sport or activity is not determined by how many days or weeks have
passed since your injury occurred.
You may return to your sport or activity when you can bend to touch
your toes without folding your legs and straighten back up without pain.
You should be able to do a sit-up or abdominal crunch
without pain. If you have a hernia, be cautious about doing strenuous
abdominal activities and talk to your doctor about how to cure it.
Prevention of Abdominal Strain:
Abdominal strains are best prevented by making your abdominal muscles
well toned before playing any sport. You can do this by doing warm ups
like running, doing sit-ups, doing abdominal crunches or by doing warm ups with fitness equipments like treadmills, staionary bikes, steppers
or by using any other popular abdominal exercise machines. By doing all
this your body gets warmed up and comes in motion and you are less
prone to injuries. It is important not to over strain your body
especially when you are a beginner and starting an exercise program.
When lifting heavy objects like dumbbells
in a gym it is very important to lift them correctly, with knees bent
and your back and abdomen straight under supervision of your gym coach.
What can a sports injury specialist or doctor do?
- Prescribe muscle relaxing medicines to cure abdominal strain.
- Use ultrasound and laser treatment.
- Prescribe you to rest till the injury is cured.
- Prescribe some exercises to do 3-4 times a day to cure injury fast.
- Prescribe some prevention tips to avoid re-injury.
- Give you a anti-inflamatory injection