Lower abdominal strains usually have a gradual onset and are often found in sports that require a lot of twisting and turning, such as football or tennis. It is not usually a debilitating injury, but if the strain continually worsens it can become debilitating. It is an overuse injury and since then abdominal muscles are constantly used, rest is often necessary.


  • Pain felt during activities such as sprinting (not light running), striking a ball, and sometimes while laughing, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After prolonged sitting there is often stiffness.


  • Compress area to minimize movement and any swelling.
  • Adductor (groin) stretches and abdominal strengthening exercises are recommended.
  • Rest with periods of light and gentle stretching.
  • See your physician if pain does not subside with a few weeks.


  • Light stretching of the groin and abdominal muscles daily.
  • Strengthening exercises for the abdominal and back.
  • Rest if feeling discomfort.

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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