An abdominal strain, also commonly referred to as a pulled muscle, is simply an abdominal muscle that has been torn or stretched. An abdominal strain can be caused by everything from a hard cough to vigorous exercise. Follow these steps to treat an abdominal strain.
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Rule out the possibility of a hernia. Before you start treatment for an abdominal strain you need to make sure you don't have a more serious condition. If you have a hernia, then you will notice a protrusion in your abdomen. In this case you will need to seek medical treatment immediately, and surgery will be required to fix the tear in your abdominal fascia.
Ice down your strained abdominal muscle. You will want to apply ice to the affected area for about a half an hour every three to four hours. Continue this treatment for several days, or until you notice an improvement in the amount of pain you are experiencing. If your pain doesn't go away after a few days talk to your doctor, as you could have a more serious injury.
Take an over the counter anti-inflammatory pain reliever. These mild medications will help you to manage the swelling and pain associated with a strained muscle.
Reduce your overall activity to give your abdominal muscles time to recover. You will want to both reduce how much you move around during your normal day to day activities, and you will also want to avoid exercising for at least a week.