Can you heal a stomach muscle pull – Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters is on the downward slope of a great career. Her wins include the following singles:

  • 2011 Australian Open
  • 2005, 2009, 2010 US Open
  • 2002, 2003, 2010 WTA Tour Championship

Still, she’s looking forward to finishing out her career at Wimbeldon, but the news came out today that she is suffering from a stomach muscle pull. Wait a minute. Really? A stomach muscle pull?

The stomach has muscles, but they are involuntary muscles that move volume through the stomach. You cannot control them and they are never pulled or strained. I am unsure of where the problem came, but it looks like the news folks have a translation issue.

Can you heal a stomach muscle pull - Kim Clijsters PhotoMore than likely, the issue is an abdominal muscle strain or pull. There are primary muscle areas for the abdomen:

  • Pyramidalis muscle
  • Rectus abdominis muscles
  • Transversus abdominis
  • Internal oblique
  • External oblique

What is a stomach muscle pull

First, let’s realize that Kim’s injury is an abdominal muscle pull. The photo on the article highlights the area we’re talking about.

Second, an abdominal muscle pull is when the muscle is stretched or torn outside of its normal range of motion or flexibility.

What are the symptoms of a stomach muscle pull

  1. Pain – You’ll feel pain in the area that is affected.
  2. Limited range of motion – You won’t be able to move or stretch the area affected as well as you could prior to the injury. In tennis this means your back stroke will be limited, as will your serve.
  3. Loss of flexibility – You might think this is the same as loss of range of motion, but it isn’t. Flexibility is the ability to move it at all vs. how far you can move. An abdominal pull will reduce your ability to move.

How do you treat a stomach muscle pull

Rest, massage, and stretching are the quickest ways to come back. The stretching may seem counter productive, but it isn’t. You need to ensure blood flow is maintained and that the muscle doesn’t atrophy.

Here is a very good video for stretching the abdominal muscles:

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