How to treat torn abdominal muscles
A torn abdominal muscle or abdominal muscle strain is characterized by damage to the internal structures of the muscles of the abdomen. The tear can be partial or complete. The abdominal muscles are located around the abdomen and the trunk and form the center muscles of the body.
- Overuse of the abdominal muscles from regular daily routine at work or at home
- Lifting excessive amount of weight and not properly conditioning the body to perform the work.
- Using improper techniques in lifting weights or performing exercises
- A sudden twisting of the body
Symptoms of torn abdominal muscles
- Lack of movement
- Muscle spasms and shooting pain
- Swelling and bruising
- Difficulty in flexing or stretching out
Grades of abdominal muscle tears
Grade 1 muscle tear – there is slight discomfort and difficulty performing an activity for a short time. Pain can be felt after the activity has stopped.
Grade 2 muscle tears – there is moderate discomfort and difficulty performing activities that involves the abdomen. The area is sore when touched.
Grade 3 muscle tears – there is severe discomfort and difficulty performing day-to-day activities. In addition, there is swelling, cramping and pain. Bruising can develop in the area.
- Take plenty of rest. Minimize activities for fast healing of the condition.
- Avoid performing exercises until the tear is totally healed.
- Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 15-20 minutes every hour on the first 48-72 hours to lessen the swelling and the inflammation. Another alternative is massaging the area using ice in a circular movement for at least 15 minutes at 3 times every day for fast healing of the condition.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to lessen the inflammation and pain. Using muscle relaxants also relieves the inflammation and pain.
- Consume foods rich in protein content such as fish, lean meats, eggs and cheese.
- Apply heat on the affected area after 24 hours. Heat can be in the form of hot compress, heating pads and heat lamps. Heat relaxes the muscles around the injury as well as lessen the inflammation and promote fast healing of the condition.
- Stretch the muscle gradually as pain and inflammation is lessened. Gentle stretching of the area repairs the muscle and prevent scarring of the surrounding tissues.
- Avoid performing heavy lifting exercises to prevent further damage and lower the risk of developing intestinal herniation which needs surgery.
- Stretch the muscles to warm them up and become more flexible before starting an activity. Avoid adding excessive strain to any muscles to prevent sprains and tears.