A pulled stomach muscle can be caused by a variety of activities such as coughing or exercising. It causes a dull ache all the time which becomes worse when there is movement. The abdominal muscles are the center for balance and movement. A pulled stomach muscle can cause severe pain and simple activities such as laughing or rolling over can lead to pain.
For active people, a pulled stomach muscle is an injury that depends on the severity of the trauma suffered during playing sports and can range from a slight pull of the muscle to a tear in the muscle.
- Abdominal muscles can be pulled by overstretching while performing exercises or playing sports that involves sudden twists and bending of the trunk.
- Batting or serving when playing tennis and volleyball.
- Lack of warm up sessions before starting strenuous exercises
- Strenuous coughing
- A microscopic tear in the muscle
- Discomfort and pain can be felt in the torso.
- Spasm of the abdominal wall immediately after the injury. The muscles become stiff and spasms as the body adjusts to the damaged fibers of the muscles and connective tissues.
- Bruising and swelling of the affected area
- A bulge in the lower stomach or the groin area which is also known as hernia
- Immediately after the injury, the individual should sit down and elevate the feet in a reclining position.
- Apply a cold compress or an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected area at least 20 minutes only. Remember not to leave it longer than 30 minutes.
- Take the prescribed pain medications such as ibuprofen to help lessen the pain.
- Continue applying the cold compress on the area in 3 hours at 4 times every day for 2 days. Take a pain medication if there is still pain. If after 48 hours and there is still pain when moving, apply a warm compress on the affected area to help loosen the muscles before performing any activity. Apply heat on the area at least 20 minutes only before taking a short walk and then apply heat again after the walk.
- Ensure that the individual gets enough rest especially the abdominal muscles. It takes several weeks for a minor strain to completely heal and several months for a major strain to heal or feel better.
- In a glass of warm milk add a pinch of turmeric powder, mix them well and drink this mixture every night until pain in the abdomen is minimized. Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help with the healing of the muscle fiber tears.
- Bend from the knees when picking up objects that are heavy to prevent straining and injuring the back and the abdomen.
- Rest in a recliner in order to help lessen strain on the muscles of the stomach.
If the pain becomes worse and a lump develops in the abdomen after 24 hour, it is vital to seek medical help immediately.