pelvic pain total performance pt

Physical Therapy For an Abdominal Strain

Dealing with a pulled muscle in your stomach can be quite painful. Generally, these can happen with working out, deep breathing or just turning in a weird way. But no matter what the cause, even if you do not know how it was caused, abdominal strains can be very easily fixed if you follow some basic instructions.

First it is important to note that an abdominal strain or a pulled muscle in your stomach is NOT a hernia. Those are completely different. You should consult your medical professional to be able to tell the difference between a hernia and an abdominal strain. We offer free consultations for those people who live in Bucks or Montgomery PA, all you have to do is call our office at 215-997-9898 and we would be happy to get you in. But the information that is going to be given below is not for hernias.

Abdominal strains make it very difficult to sit up, to breath, to turn and to carry anything.  They can range from a very mild pain to a feeling of your stomach being ripped in half. The important thing to note is that you should never push through the pain. This is not a ‘no pain, no gain’ situation. If you try to push through the pain, you can cause yourself much more pain and turn something that might have been an easier fix into something that can require a lot of time and money to fix.

Please do not try and stretch an abdominal strain. You can wind up straining it even more. While sometimes it may feel like all you need to do is stretch it, you will wind up furthering the injury. While you are feeling the pain from the strain you do not want to do anything to overexert the abdominals and something as simple as stretching can be too much exertion.

The first thing that not to do is go from lying down to sitting straight up. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the abdominals. If you watch the You Tube video below you can see exactly which movement, you must avoid. If you want to go from laying down to sitting up, you must first roll to your side, then push your upper body up with your arms. Again, you can see this demonstrated in the video below. But you must use your arms to sit up and not your abdominals. This will force them to work too hard and cause them to become even more strained.

To take even more pressure off your abdominals when you go to sit up you can bend your knees up one by one. But you want to use your hands to help bring your legs up so again you do not put too much pressure on the abdominals. Lifting your legs up when you are lying down, requires you to use your abdominals so you need to really be careful if you lift your legs for any reason because this will cause the strained area to work and possibly cause further strain.

It is also important to note that if you are laying down and you lift your head and shoulders straight up, you will use your abdominals. Again, any movements that cause you to use your abdominals can make the strain worse or prolong the amount of time it will take for it to recover. You want to make sure that you do everything you can to minimize the use and strain on the abdominals.

This is one of the only injuries where you limit the motion. Most injuries you want to gently move through the range of motions but for an abdominal strain you want to limit the motion and the use of the abdominals to ensure the swiftest recovery.

If you or someone you know has suffered an abdominal strain and you live in the Bucks or Montgomery County area in PA, call our office at 215-997-9898 to book a FREE consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy.


We’re Hiring!
We Have an Immediate Opening for a Physical Therapist in Harleysville. Resumes Can Be Sent to

Scroll to Top