Pulled stomach muscle

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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
    Pulled stomach muscles
    Abdominal muscles can be pulled by overstretching while performing exercises or playing sports that involves sudden twists and bending of the trunk.
  • 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.

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