Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Abdominal Wall Strain Home Care

Home care for an abdominal muscle strain includes:

  • Apply a cold compress:
    • Wrap ice in a moist hand towel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours, for the first few days.
  • After 3 days, try warm compresses or soaks for muscle stiffness and pain.
  • Rest the injury. Avoid activities where you could re-injure the abdomen.
  • Stretching and range of motion exercises:
    • Start after 3 days
    • Do not perform exercises that cause pain.
  • Gradually work up to muscle strengthening exercises in 1-2 weeks.
  • Gentle massage may be beneficial after 1-2 weeks.
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Abdominal Wall Strain References
  1. Dwivedi AJ, Agrawal SN, Silva YJ. Abdominal wall endometriomas. Dig Dis Sci. 2002 Feb;47(2):456-61. [11855568]
  2. Suleiman S, Johnston DE. The abdominal wall: an overlooked source of pain. Am Fam Physician. 2001 Aug 1;64(3):431-8. [11515832]
  3. van Tulder M, Malmivaara A, Koes B. Repetitive strain injury. Lancet. 2007 May 26;369(9575):1815-22. [17531890]
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