Pronounced: ab-DOM-in-uhl MUSS-el str-AY-n
This is an injury that damages the internal structure of the abdominal muscles. Strains are marked by rips or tears to a muscle. Most of the time, these rips or tears are tiny. They may cause some discomfort. When the damaged parts of the muscle pull away from each other, it is called a rupture.
This condition is caused by an overexertion of the abdominal muscle, which can happen when:
These factors increase your chance of developing abdominal muscle strain:
Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to abdominal muscle strain. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
If you have ruptured the muscle, you will feel intense pain.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. During the physical exam, she will look for:
The doctor will grade the strain depending on how badly injured you are:
To help reduce your chance of getting this condition, take the following steps:
If you have a fever and abdominal pain, seek medical attention right away.
American Orthopedia Association
American Physical Therapy Association
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Physical Therapy Canada
Abdominal muscles. Better Health Channel website. Available at: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Abdominal_muscles?open . Updated November 2007. Accessed November 4, 2008.
Abdominal muscle strain. University of Michigan Health System website. Available at: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/sma/sma_abdstrai_sma.htm. Updated October 2005 . Accessed November 4, 2008.
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Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. 28th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005.
Last reviewed September 2009 by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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