Abdominal Muscle Strain
 
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A strain is the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. The abdominal muscles can be strained as a result of brisk activity (stomach exercises) or heavy lifting when they become stretched beyond normal limits.

Abdominal muscle strains are classified due to the amount of tissue damage as follows:
  • Grade I strain - damage to a few muscle fibers.
  • Grade II strain - damage to multiple muscle fibers.
  • Grade III strain - complete rupture of the muscle itself.
Symptoms include:
  • Grade I-cramping, tightness and pain after activity.
  • Grade II-pain stretching or contracting, sore to the touch, bruising.
  • Grade III-inability to move without pain, bulging through the muscle layer, bruising.
Treatment:
Non-surgical treatment
  • Abdominal binder to provide support and limit motion.
  • Cold therapy to stimulate blood flow and relieve the pain associated with inflammation. Cold therapy should be applied several times over the course of the day.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn and Celebrex may be used to decrease pain. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.
  • Rest until pain subsides.


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