How to treat an abdominal muscle tear

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An abdominal muscle tear is a pathological condition where the internal structures of the muscles of the abdomen is injured or damaged. The injury can be partial or complete tear of a muscle. The abdominal muscles are found around the abdomen and the trunk as well as the core muscles of the body.

Degrees of an abdominal muscle tear

  • 1st degree – only the fibers of the muscles are injured or damaged.
  • 2nd degree – the fibers of the muscles are damage or injured severely.
  • 3rd degree – the most complicated form where there is complete rupture of the muscle and requires surgery.


Abdominal muscle tear
Stop performing activities that cause the strain of the abdominal muscles.
  • Improper warming up and cooling down
  • Overuse of the abdominal muscles due to performing strenuous physical activities done regularly either at home or work.
  • Lifting excessive amounts of weight where the body is not conditioned and can damage the abdominal muscles.
  • Performing wrestling
  • Using improper techniques in lifting weights or performing exercises.
  • Repeatedly lifting heavy weight during work.
  • Sudden twisting of the body
  • Trauma to the stomach


  • Persistent stiffness and discomfort in the affected area
  • Severe pain in area after performing strenuous activities
  • Tenderness in the abdominal area with muscle spasms
  • Pain when stretching the abdominal muscles
  • Swelling of the abdominal muscles.
  • Cramping and tightness


  • Stop performing activities that cause the strain of the abdominal muscles. Take plenty of rest for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply an ice pack on the abdomen for at least 15 minutes at 3 times every day. The coldness lessens the pain and inflammation. Apply the pack immediately after the injury to prevent internal bleeding. Avoid applying directly on the skin to prevent further damage.
  • Consume foods high in protein such as lean meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs and cheese. Proteins are needed for the repair of muscles.
  • After 24 hours, apply heat on the affected area such as a heating pad or warm compress. Heat relaxes the muscles around the affected area and lessens the inflammation and promote proper healing of the area.
  • As the pain and inflammation subsides, gradually stretch the muscles at least 1-2 weeks after the injury. Gentle stretching restores proper functioning of the muscle and prevent scarring of the surrounding tissues.
  • Take the prescribed pain medication such as ibuprofen to lessen the inflammation and pain. Another alternative is taking muscle relaxants to relieve the inflammation and pain.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or performing exercises while still in the healing process to prevent damage and increase the risk for developing intestinal herniation.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on an abdominal muscle tear is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage muscle injuries by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

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