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An abdominal strain is a tear or rupture of part of the abdominal muscles, usually at the point where it attaches to the pelvis.
Symptoms include tenderness and inflammation over an area of the rectus abdominis, usually at the bottom of the muscle where it inserts into the pelvis. The athlete may have felt a sudden sharp pain in the abdominal muscles which would indicate a rupture. There is likely to be an increase in pain when the abdominal muscles are contracted for example when doing stomach crunch exercises.
An abdominal strain is a tear to the muscle or tendon usually of the rectus abdominus muscle although other muscles in the stomach area such as the internal obliques or external obliques can be affected.
Ruptures occur in weightlifters, throwers, gymnasts, rowers, wrestlers, pole vaulters and other sports which involve fast whole body movements and changes of direction. If the athlete returns to training before the injury is allowed to heal fully then repeated injuries and chronic inflammation of the tendon may occur.
Rest until there is no pain. This may be a few days for a mild injury or two or three weeks for a more severe strain. Apply cold therapy immediately to help ease bleeding, pain and swelling. Ice can be applied every hour for the first 24 to 48 hours during the acute stage. See sports injury professional who can advise on rehabilitation.
A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. A professional practitioner may use electrotherapy including ultrasound and laser treatment. Deep tissue sports massage may be beneficial in aiding the healing process once the acute stage has passed.
A full rehabilitation program consisting of abdominal and core strengthening exercises. Chronic or persistent injuries may be given a steroid injection followed by rest for 2 weeks. In rare cases a surgeon may operate. If you rest as soon as there is sign of injury then it should not take more than a couple of weeks to heal. If you have ruptured the muscle the healing time will depend on how bad the strain is.