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Abdominal Pain After a Workout

author image Dr. Robert Petros
Dr. Robert Petros has been working at the Yerevan State Medical University Department of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases since 2009. He has had experience with thousands of patients and done a considerable amount of work in epidemic prevention on the government level.
Abdominal Pain After a Workout
Overexertion of your abdominal muscles can result in serious injury. Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Abdominal pain after a workout can be a sign of a health problem. Immense strain can be placed on your core as a result of a workout, causing an array of ailments. Working out further can aggravate these problems causing further discomfort. Depending on the cause of the ailment, a wide variety of signs and symptoms may exist.


When your abdominal muscles are stretched further than their ability, the resulting injury is known as an abdominal strain. During this injury, the abdominal muscles actually tear. The severity of the injury depends on how many muscle fibers are torn. This injury can cause mild discomfort to severe pain. This injury is treated with rest, from three weeks to three months depending on the severity of the injury.


When the soft tissue of the abdominal cavity slips through a weakness or tear in the abdominal wall, it causes a hernia. Hernia can be caused by overexertion, not practicing proper form while weightlifting or as a result of an abdominal tear. Hernias can cause a dull pain in the abdomen, a feeling of heaviness and sharp pain during physical strain. Hernias are most often treated surgically. They can cause serious health complications (though this is not common).


Some sports such as football, martial arts, ice hockey, rugby and lacrosse among others include a lot of physical contact. This contact can result in the injury of the abdominal organs which, in turn, can lead to internal bleeding. If you experience abdominal pain, dizziness, a swollen abdomen and paleness of skin, internal bleeding may be the reason. Internal bleeding requires immediate medical attention.


The physical and mental strain involved in workouts and sports can result in the overproduction of gastric acid. This can lead to open sores of the upper digestive tract (stomach and duodenum). These sores are known as ulcers. Ulcers cause a burning pain in the abdominal region, especially when you're hungry.


Abdominal discomfort does not necessarily signify a serious injury or ailment. If the pain during a workout is sharp and comes directly after the workout that could signify an injury. Delayed-onset muscle soreness is your body's response to a new level of exertion or a new type of exercise. This response can come 12 to 48 hours after a workout and is your body's way of recovering and rebuilding after a workout. This type of pain can manifest itself in your abdominal muscles.

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