Swinging a bat is a dangerous motion that violently torques your body from head to toe. Pulling a muscle by simply swinging at a pitch is not an uncommon occurrence, even for professionals who have been doing it for more than 20 years. If you believe you have pulled a stomach muscle from swinging a bat in softball, there are several steps you can take to help get you back on the diamond.
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Before attempting any kind of treatment for a pulled stomach muscle from softball, have your doctor diagnose the injury. There is a chance that your pulled muscle could be something more serious, like a hernia. A hernia is an instance where the muscles in your abdominal wall literally tear and some inner-tissue attempts to push out of the opening. Some of these injuries require surgery to be properly repaired.
Abdominal muscle strains require rest to heal -- that means no more swinging the bat or throwing the ball. The amount of time it will take to heal a pulled stomach muscle could take weeks or months, according to Summit Medical Group. Any vigorous activity during healing can put you back to square one, and it can do further damage to your stomach muscle.
As soon as you've finished your swing and noticed the muscle pull, place ice on the area for 20 to 30 minutes. For the next two to three days, repeat this process of icing the area for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours. Ice can reduce swelling which will help with pain and promote faster healing.
According to Carol Otis M.D., UCLA student health physician, after three days you may alternate heat and ice to the area to help with pain and begin loosening the muscle. Applying heat inside the first 72 hours will only draw blood to the area, causing more damage.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can be taken to help reduce inflammation and ease your pain. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends clearing the use of NSAID's with your primary care physician, as there are many potential dangerous side-effects to the drugs. Avoid taking NSAID's for longer than seven days, unless directed to do so by your doctor.