How to Say It: ab-DOM-in-uhl MUSS-el str-AY-n
An abdominal muscle strain is a partial or full tear of the small muscle fibers in the abdomen.
This problem may be caused by:
Abdominal Muscles—Side View
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Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Most people get better in a few weeks. The goal of treatment is to ease pain and improve movement. This may be done with:
The muscle will need time to heal. Supportive care may include:
Medicine may also be given to ease pain and swelling.
An exercise program will be created to promote strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
The risk of this problem may be lowered by:
American Council on Exercise
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Public Health Agency of Canada
Muscle strain (pulled muscle). Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/orthopaedic-surgery/specialty-areas/sports-medicine/conditions-we-treat/muscle-strains.html. Accessed September 15, 2021.
Sprains, strains, and tears. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/files-for-resource-library/sprains-strains-and-tears.pdf?sfvrsn=5b229fcf_2. Accessed September 15, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
Last Updated: 9/15/2021