Pulled abdominal muscles often result from doing exercises such as sit-ups incorrectly. The University of Buffalo's University Sports Medicine website says that vigorous exercise, in particular, can trigger a muscle strain. There are several symptoms of pulled abdominal muscles that you should watch for after doing sit-ups, particularly if you're out of shape or your muscle core is weak.
UPMC, a health services network associated with the University of Pittsburgh, says that one of the most noticeable symptoms of pulled abdominal muscles from sit-ups is immediate pain during the exercise. This pain can range from light stiffness or soreness to intense discomfort. If the pain makes it difficult to get up or move, see a doctor. Intense pain is a symptom of a severe strain or a ruptured muscle.
Sore to the Touch
A pulled abdominal muscle is often sore to the touch for several days after the initial injury. It may also feel stiff or sore when you do everyday tasks, such as lifting grocery bags or sitting up from a reclining position. It's best to refrain from putting strain on your abdominal muscles as long as this symptom is present to avoid further injuring the area. The healing process should take two to three weeks for a minor strain, and three to six weeks for a moderate strain.
Swelling or Bruising
In severe cases, pulled abdominal muscles will appear swollen and bruised. See a doctor immediately if this is the case. Swelling and bruising, as well as a noticeable bulge in your lower abdominal muscles or groin, are symptoms of a hernia. When you have a hernia, that means that your intestines and connective tissue are poking through the tear in your muscles. If your intestines are trapped, you may also experience nausea, sudden intense pain and vomiting. According to the University of Michigan Health System, surgery is the only way to treat a hernia.