For almost 1 year now I have had horrible muscle spasms in my abs when I do sit ups. I do a lot of running and other exercise and my abs never tighten up like that any other time other than doing sit ups. Everytime I try to do sit ups I can get through about 10 then the upper right abdominal area completely tightens and feels like a really really bad charlie horse. I'm just looking for any advice or experience with this that anyone can give me. I saw my family doctor and he said it's not a hernia and it could maybe be my gallbladder. With everything I've read online about gallbladders it doesn't seem like that is it to me. Just wondering if anyone can give me some help!
It does NOT sound like gall bladder ( I have had mine removed). I have had something like this happen but not under the same secomstances. I would look at your mineral and electrolyte intake. You might need to bump up on that
Thank You for this section, I have been having the same identical problem for years now. I sincerely want to get back in shape and lose weight, but excerise comes to a SCREECHING HALT when it comes to sit-ups due to the pain associated after reaching 4-10 sit-ups.
At first I thought it may have been from childbearing, perhaps the loss of muscles or maybe some damage was done. Throughout all the weight gain over the years and unstable weight fluctuation I became confused! Afterall, childbirth can do a lot of damage to a womans body. But others have also recommended increasing water intake and electrolyte suppliments of some sort. I will give this a try because in all honesty I do not drink as much water as I should. (ashamed @ this!)
I had the same problem a few weeks ago. I was doing sit-ups in the gym when suddenly my stomach "knotted" together and it was so painful. It had happened before but I don't know when it will strike next. I first had these spasms like about 15 years ago, but it was only like three or four times in over a 6 years period. It was really painful, and I had consulted doctors and no logic answers was given. I thought I was experiencing some kind of weird pain. Then I had a few other guys told me that they had that problem too. So, what caused it ? I think it happens to both gender and it is not fun. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
I have had this exact same problem and asked my doctor about this. When I do a sit up right below my breast bone will knott up like a charlie horse. I am 51 and out of shape. A nurse friend also recommended potassium. My doctor said to do as man sit ups each day that as my muscles began to take shape this cramping should go away. It is very painful and when it happens it takes along time to be able to sit back up. LOL!! I hate it and I will get back in shape.
I have had this problem for nine years now. It happens when doing sit-ups, but also when I'm just relaxing....normally on my right side.
My feet, ankles and calves also have this problem.
I'm healing from a broken tibia which I believe was all related to these spasms. I was a long distance runner, but was told by my doctor not to run anymore.
I am 45 year old male and have had the same problem over the past 3 years. Thought it could be hernia or gallbladder but doctor said no. I had a appendectomy 12 years ago that left a big scare and apparently a lot of scar tissue underneath. My doc recommended Calcium Citrate with Magnesium plus more water during the day. It still happens once in a while but not as much.
I am an athletic person who works out about 3-4 times a week. Last week I had a re-occuring injury while cleaning up the house. When I bend down too many times my stomach contracts and I feel pain in my abdomin (abdomen) and testicles. I only feel pain on my lower right side abdominal wall. I went to my family doctor who could see visual swelling from one side of my stomach more than the other. The doctor told me that it was not hernia but an abdominal strain instead that it would take time to heal. I just wondering does this sound right? How do I prevent this from happening? Why does my right side testiles hurt than?
Can anyone give me some advice or treatment? I want to work out again but I can't.
It is brutal! You can actually see the spasm in my stomach when it happens. It is deadly!
I was told that it was because I did too many abd exercises while pregnant, and I have seperated my muscles. When activated too much, they spasm up. I was told it COULD go away, but it has been 7 years for me now, and it still hasn't, so I don't have my hopes up anymore.
I just sloooowly work away at it, and stop when I feel something coming...
I have been having abdonimal muscle spasms for about 7 years. Lower right quadrant. It feels like a very sharp, squeezing pain, such as a leg cramp. At first it was thought to be an onion allergy, but that does not seem to be the case. It comes on for no apparent reason. I've been hospitalized several times, had all kinds of tests - CAT scans with and without contrast and dye, blood work, etc. etc. They've ruled out kidney stones, gallstones, appendix, ovarian cause, growths, etc. But the pain is so severe that I faint. It can last anywhere from 1/2 hour to many hours. Sometimes, Gas-x and advil seem to help. What helps the most is lying down and stretching in the opposite direction of the spasm. (that is, putting a pillow under my lower back and stretching my arms back over my head.) It's been suggested that, since I have 2 herniated disks in my lower back, this might be a cause. It does seem to happen more when I do a lot of crunches, or strenuous work such as mowing the lawn. ( i have reel mower - no power)
The last doctors at the ER felt "something" in that area, but nothing showed up on any of the imaging. Voiding my bladder seems to relieve it somewhat. I've been home from the hospital for 2 days, and still have residual soreness, which is eased by a heat patch right on the area.
I am thankful to have found this online. I have had this issue ever since my 2nd c section 2 yrs ago. I had a 10lb baby so my abs were damaged. The "charlie horse" description is perfect to describe the pain and the "lock" of the muscle. Afterwards I am so sore for days and the pain is so severe.
I am having a CT scan tomorrow. I am wondering if surgery can repair the muscle?
well, i might as well join the club. yesturday at the shaq gym i was doing crunches on the hammer strenght machine and woe, the spasm hurted so bad, icouldn't breath, it was in my lower right abs and this afternoon in my upper right abs. I could on do 20 crunches at a time, three sets. i guess that can work since i already ahave abs.
About three weeks ago, i had my right side just under my breast bone - do the cramp up thing. Then the following week, my breast ached like a toothache but sharper. so went to that dr. and she said all was fine i pulled a chest muscle. She ran a mamogram (mammogram) and ll looked good too. The following week after that i noticed a lump where i felt the cramp initially so had it xrayed and ultrasounded and nothing. so back to muscle pull idea.
then today at my desk - that terrible cramping again where the lump was! what is up with this. it was numb in that area over the weekend- so i called the ultrasound tech- cause i thought maybe she used some kind of numbing gel. but she said it was probably a nerve that was bothered by the test the week before.
so now what? ive given up lifting for three weeks - except lower body stuff. only walking or bike riding for exercise.
And to think I thought I was the only one!!! I'm female, small framed and had 1 extremely complicated pregnancy and 1 difficult pregnancy. My ab muscles, too, were separated due to pregnancy, but I don't believe that is a contributing factor as the problem didn't occur until my son was about 5 years old.
My cramping occurs on the upper left area of my abdomen when doing crunches or everyday movements that simulate that of a crunch. Not only can I see my abdomen knotting up in that area, but I feel if it does not stop, I will literally die! I hate that I can't do many crunches, but it's just not worth the agony. I have tried to slowly increase crunches, but that doesn't work for me either.
I feel bad for all of you who deal with this, but it is comforting to know that there are others with this same problem.
Just like discussed, up your potassium intake and lower your sodium intake. "no salt is a good replacement for regular salt" as "no salt" is potassium based and is very hight up to 1,000mg or more per serving. Next, drink water, water, water; depending on your size I would say around 3 litres is ideal.
I have this all the time, but mostly if I am constipated. I will sit up, get this horrible spasam in my right side under my breast plate. It goes all the way across my stomach like there is something in there. DR told me I had a diveticuli sac there, but that seems odd. Lots of water, and staying bowel clean seems to help. I have not other symptoms, just this. I am bloated too, and most likely need to lose weight, but have tried everythign, and at 66, does not seem like that will happen. It makes it worse with exercise, so no help there. Even when I go to the bathroom, at times it hurts all the up to there. DR has done all kinds of tests, no reason for this, except maybe constipation. I wish I knew what this was, cause when it hurts it really hurts, then my breast plate hurts for days.
I've been having this problem for the past 5 years. I can workout fine but when it comes to abs, I'm really hesitant to try again, cause I know its going to "attack" again.
As soon as I do some situps, right after they just lock up and start exploding. It's so painful and embarrassing at the gym. The other day I tried after not doing ab exercises for months and I had to roll off the sit up bench. This *****, I used to really enjoy doing ab exercises and now I fear them. No one knows the proper term for this problem? I'll try upping my potassium and water intake.
I hear you on that embarassing moment in the gym. I just started taking a boxing class the other day and my lower right abs seized up into that excruciating pain you all know and I was done for the rest of the class. I run 3-4 times a week and have worked out religiously about 5 days a week for the last 10 years. However within the last year I have noticed that just after a few sets of abs my abs have a tendency to spasm. I think I get enough water, but maybe not getting adequate sleep at night (6hrs avg). I will try uptaking my potassium and cutting down on artificial sweeteners in gum, coffee, etc.., and try to cut sodium as well. Definitely a very annoying ailmnet. Whatever guidance anyone else may have that may have helped I would most greatly appreciate.
Sounds like I'm having the same issue as a lot of people. I've worked out 4-5 days a week for years and never had any problems. Last week all of sudden doing some situps I had an excruciating pain in my right side. For the last week I've felt spasms or a pulsating in my right side and my right testicle has felt a dull pain. I'm hoping its an ab strain and rest will help.
I'm sorry to hear that others are experiencing these Abdominal spasms but it is comforting to hear that I am not the only one. I have been athletically active for about the last ten years., I have gone to gym off and on more on than off. Until a few years back I had never had a charlie horse in my abdominals but this now seems to be the case when I do 20-40 crunches the pain is excruciating and a litte worrisome because you can't move. What I did realize a few years back was that when I started to take prilosec for acid reflux I would experience these spasms but once I got off the prilosec and allowed my body to get rid of it I was fine. I have since taken the prilosec off and on for the past 3-4 years but have not really tried to do too many crunches out of fear. I do now from research that this acid reducers prevent the body from making vitamin b and magnesium which is essential for muscles. I plan on going to a sports medicine doctor and see what he proposes. I just wondered if anyone else on this post my have taken som sort of acid reducer. Hope everyone gets better. Will check for future posts.
I've got a new idea that I think'll help you guys. Earlier this year I had an abdominal spasm while in a train station, and it was excruciating. What did I do? Massage it out for the 3 hours I was on the train. It went away quickly, and most of the massaging on the train was spent making sure I didn’t have a relapse.
What to Do For Best Results
If your abs are really painful, take a hot bath first to get them more relaxed. Then, after filing your nails down to the quick, dig into your stomach to massage out those muscle knots. Search for muscle knots and massage them out the same way you would massage a friend’s tight shoulders: hunting for the ‘good’ painful muscle, and then working on that. Try using the thumb of one hand and use the other hand to help apply pressure. Try massaging in 5-10 minute bursts a few times a day.
If not immediately, you should see results within a few days.
These days I have to massage between workouts and right after them too, but I can keep exercising. Only if I stop massaging does the pain come back. This treatment falls under the umbrella of trigger point therapy. I got the idea from The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies, and it works for me.
I am so glad that I have finally found information on this horrible problem!
I had gastric bypass surgery four years ago and after a year, I had a 'tummy tuck' to get rid of the extra skin. After having the surgery and allowing enough time for healing, I tried to do crunches to keep my stomach toned..I swear I felt like there was an alien in there trying to come out!!! I think my sister felt I was faking a problem to get out of working out. Needless to say, I too have tried to stay away from ab workouts, but this morning, thanks to a bad chest cold that I have, the spasm found me again just from coughing! I am at my wits end on what to do about this. My sister thought that it might be adhesions, but when I talked to my gyn, he did not feel that was the case, but could not offer any remedy.
***Thanks for the advise. I will definetly up my potassium and get an electrolyte supplement. I have hyptertion, so I need to be carefull with anything that has a lot of sodium.
I get a painful charlie horse/spasm/knot below my right breast when I bend over. Also, if I'm sitting up with my legs straight out in front of me and lean slightly forward I get the same spasms/knotting. After the pain goes away it has a tingling feeling similar to what ultra sound therapy feels like. The tingling can happen at any time. I also get this sensation when I'm laying on my side in bed. Doesn't matter whether it is my left or right side. Does anyone else have these symptoms? It is not only bothersome but scary.
Wow...to think i was the only one.....im very fit and have been working out 5 days a week for the past 8 years. I was doing some ab work 2 years ago when my stomach knotted (i could actually feel it bulge) and tightened so severely i could barely breath. I had to stay still for a few minutes until it loosened up. Now i can barely do ab work. I do abs everyday, but can only get about 4 or 5 sets in before i can sense it starting to tighten. Thats when i stop. I know i dont need more water because i drink a gallon a day. I eat bananas everyday too and take a vitamin supplement, so im stumped as to what i can do.
It happened to me during an excercise so its almost like i tore something that keeps comming back....i dont know...im lost on this one. All i can suggest to people who want to have nice abs, but suffer from this is to do more cardio, watch your diet and continue to do abs, but just do a minimal amount per day....until you can feel it start to tense up.
Also - crunches and that kind of motion are the activities that set it off quicker. Doing leg raises and "the ab wheel" tends not to set it off. Its the opposite of a crunch if you think about it......
just some thoughts.....
oh - the reason i found this today is because for the first time ever, my stomach muscle on the left upper side below my rib cage is "fluttering". Its been doing it for 6 hours now on and off. its not painful, but its weird. So i googled and ended up here.....UGGGGG
Wow nice to know I'm not the only one. I used to be very fit working out all the time. until I had an unfortunate incident where i tore my tricep. which after discouraging results in the Gym eventually led to taking some time off which then led to taking too much time off. now I work out on and off more on than off but the off periods can last a couple of weeks or more.
I used to be able to do tons of ab exercises with no problem. now after about 40-50 reps my Abdomen would knot up and would not relax. very painful that i would avoid ab exercises. but thats not the answer since I cant strengthen my core without exercising it.
I found that switching my workouts doing Abs directly before cardio. helps.
I do as many reps as possible regardless of ab excercise until the Knotting occurs. i do my funny walk to cardio machine. preferably treadmill but any machine works. after about 1-3 minutes of cardio the knotting goes and pain dissapears. after couple days of this my reps increase before the knotting. everntually completely dissapears until the next "off" period.
If you went too far with the reps and are really knotted and in pain. I have read that a direct poke into the muscle should relax the muscle releasing the pressure. I have yet to find this "point" but if you over extend your body bending backwards. extending the abs releases the pressure instantly for a few seconds. until you make it to the treadmill. good luck.
Wow! I am so glad i have found a site to discuss my symptoms. I am very athletic and work out 3-4 days a week. lately i have been working a lot on my abs doing different exercises, etc. For 5 days now i have been having this excrutiating pain in my abdominal area right below my left breast. The pain last for about 5 seconds and goes away, then it comes again for another 5 seconds are so. Occasionally i have this fluttering afterwards. They are more like painful sensations and then it goes away..the pain is unbearable. Im a little scared cause the pain started suddenly and has continued for 5 consecutive days. The muscle spasms some of you are having does it sound like the pain im experiencing?
I had my gall bladder removed almost 5 months ago. Did well with that. About 7-8 weeks ago I started experiencing a tightening up of my upper abdomen, starting almost as a burn just below my sternum then a spasm coming from both sides of my body inward to meet. These last about 20 seconds or so and then relax for 30 seconds up to 3-4 minutes sometimes and then spasm up again. At first it was just once in a while and only 2-3 spasms, but after being under attack with them for 10 hours I found myself in the ER and then hospital to under go tests. I have had a gastric emptying study, 2 CAT scans and upper GI with a lower abdominal follow thru. A couple of weeks later, I again was put in the hospital after 15 hours of being under attack and it took 2 high doses of morphine to even touch the pain. Then I had another test very similar to he upper GI but having the barium put down through a tube in my nose. I have had numerous blood tests and urine and stool analysis' and the doctors cannot not figure out what is happening to me. I am scheduled for a pill cam next week to watch what happens as it goes through me. I am not an athletic person although I do walk 2-3 miles a day and am 52 years old. These attacks happen regarless of what I eat, if I am feeling stressed or not and will start at random times in the day or night, regarless of activity or inactivity. When they come they leave me exhausted, and worthless the entire next day. I am losing work days and it really messes up my family life. I will try the potassium and electrolite suggestions as well as lower my sodium intake, but if anyone has any other suggestions, I would appreciate any and all help.
I have this ever since childbirth - and that has been almost 7 years ago! It always feels as if it were an area where muscles are attached to rib cage via ligaments, so I am pretty sure something was torn during pregnancy that keeps tearing just a bit during exercises. Not sure what can be done except to warm up extra well before doing sit-ups.
well it sounds like there are a lot of people that deal with this abdominal spasm. Is there any stretches that anyone knows about to either stop or avoid them. After my second child i have had problems with abdominal muscle spasms. For me it occurs in the middle of the night during my sleep. I wake up with severe muscle cramping and pain. I have been up since 2:30am and now its almost 5am and it has finally subsided. So if anyone knows any exersizes that I can do to stop the spasms it would be appreciated! Thanks
I just started getting severe stomach cramps when working out. Im glad to see im not the only one. I really thought i was alone with this, and had a serious problem. I do crunches and my first set is fine, when i try and begin my second set i feel like my stomach is splitting in two. I also get visible nots in my stomach. Its excruciating and also very embarrassing when it happens at the gym. I work out 5 to 6 days a week and dont get cramps any where else on my body
For abdominal muscles whenever you work out remember to give a break the day after.
Do not do continuosly on a day to day basis. 48hrs any muscle will recover. If it hurts after that and continues you need a medical help or else a good Physiotherapist and Gymn Trainer is suffiecient.
I am doing a Pilates workout, about an hour and 15 minutes, and I have been having these muscle spasms, and they sometimes start in my upper abs, under my right breast, but radiate out to my arms and legs and I have to sit down, I feel faint.
I have fibromyalgia, and it started with a back injury with 2 herniated discs and 3 bulging discs and I have degenerative discs in my neck, with arthritis. I believe there is arthritis in the spinal injury (base of my spine). Has anyone had the muscle spasms go throughout his/her body?
I believe you have to slow down and the work out time should be decreased till a point of time when you do not have major symptoms.
Your body will slowly take more of strain while you control it, and your neurological conditions should also be taken into consideration.
Thank you for your answer. I do have an appt. with my doctor on the 27th of May, just to check it out, but I have been adding some additional water, stopped the ab exercised everyday and will do them every other day or every 3rd day, and cut the time down from 1 hour on the Pilates Performer to 1/2 hour or 45 minutes, and reduced the number of reps.
I didn't realize about the water, and I have a low normal potassium reading, and I do notice it, even thought some people think I can't, but when it is not supplemented by prescribed potassium from my Dr., I do get pains in my legs. Low normal is 3.5 for potassium, mine is 3.6.
I do appreciate your answer, and I am doing exactly what you advised.. Thank you.
Wow! That is the way to go, human beings adapt to adverse of conditions and your body should slowly be stressed, and i am happy that you have an appointment with the doctor who can give you a green signal, as sometimes in your condition a little personal follow up is required.
Drinking of sufficient or a little more of water is always good.
In mineral deficiency even if you have a minor change in value you have these muscle cramps and other associated problems.
You should do a latest test to find your Potassium level and then take supplements with a prescription.
Take care and mineral balance(electrolyte) is very important
Thank you so much for your help and advice. I do feel that the spasms are starting in my core, uppper abs, but I have started doing more water (even though I drink decaf Iced tea mixed with green tea, and lots of ice), but I did feel the visiti to the doctor was warranted. I am low in Vitamin D and Potassium, so I feel these deficiencies could be adding to the problem
I do appreciate you responding to my inquiry, and it's nice to know that there are doctors like you willing to help people with these questions. Thank you for being here.
I went to the doctor's office today, and she agreed that it is lack of water, and minerals. I know she checked the selenium, and she said that she would do a complete electrolyte panel too. I told her that I had posted here, that I made the changes you suggested, and that the spasms stopped. She agreed with your assessment of decreasing reps until I could build up some more.
It's all working. I have lost an additional 5 pounds since March, my BP is within normal ranges, and I took my BP home monitor in and that my BP is coming down, and if this continues, and I lose more weight, I might be able to go off all the BP medications.
Since last year, I have lost nearly 50 pounds, and I did it by just making a slight change to my diet. I ALWAYS have veggies with dinner, I eat them first, then protein, and then if we have a starch, most of the time I don't eat it because I am full. So, it doesn't take a drastic diet, just a slight adjustment, and this is the most successful I have been in years in losing weight. I'm doing it for my blood work improvement, not because I want to fit into smaller clothing, just a mind set change. Also, I am using a combination of EVOO and canola oil to adjust the HDL and the LDL to proper ranges.
Thank you for all of your help and input, Dr. Vinod.
I have had to same problem on my lower right side.Just below and to the side of my belly button. It only happens when I work my abs.
I stopped working out in fear of it happening.
You can actually see and FEEl the muscle . I have to hold it and put pressure on it.
'I went to 3 doctors, and they said I did not have a hernia. Even the plastic surgeon looked at it-
I drink tons of water and eat healthy. I know is from my 2 -Csections.
Something is not attached and ripped down there.
Cure: Well I found that if you wear one of those stretch Belts that go around your waist. (support) You can get them any where. I am able to do my exercises. It holds everything in and together- preventing it to spasm.
I encourage you to try it. Get one of those exercise (Velcro) Belts. It actually feels nicer and I can do more, with the added support.
This is the only way I am able to work my (lower abs).
I hope this helps someone in this forum. As I do not have an actual cure, but this enabled me to work out.
I am so glad I am not the only one...The specialist made me feel like I was crazy.. Also, sometimes when I (squat) or go to pick something up in certain positions it will pop out and spasm.
So it not only when I do lower ab.
Good luck, I would be interested to know if the belt helps.
Yes support and belts help. But i can give you an advice that the tag line "working on some area will give you the best look" is not always good! As you do cardio, you lose weight proportionally and you lose the fat first from the place you put fat last. So ultimately you would lost all the fat with sustained effort. It is not good for patients with hernia, C-section and other abdominal surgeries to exert themselves a lot in a spree to get flat abdomen. This is an advice and you can always take your own decision and please follow up near your surgeon also before you go intense. Take care!
I don't work out much at all, so my spasms come from a different type of strain...sometimes when my body tightens up due to an orgasm I get the Charlie horse pain in my upper right abdomen, in front of my rib cage. It's very painful, and I have to stop everything for a few minutes until the pain stops. I am sore in the area for a few days after. Thanks for the advice, I know that I don't drink enough water, and I've been slacking on my vitamins and minerals.
You can work out, but not on exercises which increase your abdominal pressure. This is for post operative patients. You can learn near a qualitifed physiotherapist or a trainer and practice. Stop whenever you are getting pain and spasms. Abdominal muscles would take 2 days to recover after they get sore, skipping a day helps. Drink enough water and also balanced diet which covers your minerals, vitamins, carbbohydrate, prroteins etc.
I'm glad to have found this. I am 19, and not very physically active (I am on the computer constantly. I work my brain out the most by writing software) Anyway, ever since College ended for the summer, these same spasms occurred for me, only it's on both sides of my abdomen right above the pelvis. Sometimes it feels as if my guts are being jumbled or pushed around by this.
I'm going to try upping my potassium intake and see if that helps. I drink alot of Pomegranite juice, but I know that is antioxidants more than anything else. I'm also going to visit the doctor and see what he has to say.
I'm feeling so discouraged. I am trying very hard to work out and adapt a healthier lifestyle, but that horrible twisting, tightening, excruciating spasm that starts under my breast on the right side just stops me dead in my tracks. It happened today again, I was doing some crunches on a ball and wham, I saw stars. I tried to get up, which was not easy and breathe and walk till it subsided. Once is was gone I bent down to pick up all the stuff I threw on the floor while writhing in pain and it started again, and it felt like it was trying to creep over slowly to the through the middle and spread over to the left side. But once again, breathing, walking and a bit of time and it was over. Now it's sore and I'm too nervous to move. I came straight to the computer and found this thread. So glad I'm not the only one, but I haven't really heard anything we can do about this, other than to rest the muscle and drink lots of water. Are we doomed to have this happen all the time now? HELP!
You should go and consult an orthopaedican and go for an examination to find out if you have pulled any chest muscle etc.
Do not stress yourself and it is good that you want to work out and be in shape, but not at an expense of pain and damaging your body.
Consult a Physical trainer to find out what all forms of exercise are good for you presently and later you can increase your load with decreasing pain. Take care!
Well Just as everyone else, I am glad that I found this thread. I lost 50 pounds 5 years ago and since exercise religiously 4-5 times a week. Not often, but at times I will get this immense charlie horse like cramp on my right abdominal area. Just to the right of my belly button. It is not only crunches that have set it off...sometimes after I gag brushing my teeth or if I sneeze hard it will come on strong. After about a minute or less the muscle relaxes but I have spasms in the general area for another couple minutes. It is a very scary pain, I have to apply a lot of pressure in the area during the episode.
I was planning to finally go see the doctor and decided to look at web 1st. From what I have read there seems to be no good solution or diagnoses. I am also going to try uptake in potassium/electrolytes. From what I read, Camron6475 I really like your advise on up-ing the cardio and doing alternative ab work outs.
I also wanted to mention it concerns me that there might be something torn (over exerted) and that I also have had an appendectomy (long time ago)- and this pain is in the general vicinity of the surgery.
5 years ago I started having a right ab muscle spasm that lies on the outer edge of the rib cage. It will swell up alot and you can see it. It started after my second pregnancy when I decided to exercise. It will act up during any movement tucking in towards the body. 2 years ago I started having a right rhomboid spasm and I wonder if there is a connection since it's on the same side and spot front and back. I carried my kids quite alot. I feel maybe the pulling on my shoulder could have disrupted my spine and muscles. Nothing has helped my ab spasm just avoiding the activity that provokes it. I do find applying a pressure point into the rhomboid spasm corrects it. I have not tried this on my ab muscle because it is temporary but I think it could help for a muscle that is being stubborn and tight.
I've experienced severe spasms in the upper abdominal area and the worse experience was after doing crunches. Twice I experience severe pain and the area knotted and felt like a baseball. Most of you described the same condition, but I also started feeling flush and started sweating. I sat down and started fading in and out and think I passed out several times. It lasted about 1/2 hr before I could leave the gym and drive home. I assumed that the flush and sweating was caused by all the blood rushing to the abdominal area. Does anyone else feel those added symptoms?
I am glad I found this site as I thought I was crazy or had something really bad wrong with me like a hernia.I had my Gal Bladder removed at age 17 which I have noticed a lot of others have mentioned or c section & 1 post mentioning the prevacid 4 acid reflux as I have taken it for many yrs & recently have tried to skip it as much as possible & drink more water & most stating this happens during crunches. I however have this occur whenever it wants to occur just sitting and no strain to the abdominal muscles.This has been a reason I have feared exercise to the abdominal area. Recently I have been exercising about 4 times a week and never get the spasms then. It is just like a charlie horse knotted right in my upper abdominal area seems to be more to left than right but you can feel a big ball & cannot move until it luckily goes away just as a charlie horse in other areas can stop you from being able to your move.Only this is a big knot like a baseball.I try to drink alot of water & have been taking daily vitamins so it has seemed to be less often & I don't know if it's the vitamins,more water,exercise or the strengthening of the muscles from exersising or maybe a combo of both.
I have had the same problem since I had my first child,28 years ago.I have thought I was alone all this time.A muscle under my upper right rib cage nots up any time I try to do sit-ups.It has also happened when I've bent over to pick something up,and even during sex.I had a test to see if my gallbladder was working properly a couple of weeks ago.The doctor said it was working 50%.I dont have gallstones.An issue I'm having with all this is that I dont know if I'm having pain do to my gallbladder issue or if its my muscle thats hurting.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.I've tried to explain the muscle spasm thing to my doctor but I dont think he gets it.
I to have had abdominal spasms for about 8 years or more now and they are very painful. I Have had surgeries and test and many Drs. who cannot tell me what it is except ibs or scar tissue or electrolite problems i also have these spasms in my rib cage they come on out of the blue sometimes with a cough or a wrong move or even a sudden movement as like being startled by something or even doing situps i have been so frustrated sometimes by so much money spent on medical but no answers and no help i had one today just sitting on the couch and coughed and there it was like a large animal in my stomach trying to break through with so many with this problem why do drs end up acting like it all mental or like they have never heard it before i drink plenty of water electrolites are fine it realy changes you life with every thing exersise, work and sex cause you have no idea when one will hit. i wish some wonderful medical person would come up wit a way to prevent these painful spasms.
On January 31, 2008. 4:55pm, I made a move that has caused me pain from ab muscle spasms every day of my life. I work at a desk in a blue cube. I made that last minute run to the bathroom, trying to finish before they locked me in the building. When I stood up, I felt my back kinda lock up. I felt as if my rib cage buckled into my waist. I think it snapped. The pain was excruciating. I could barely drive home. What I thought would be fine with the usual cold pack, hot pack, & anti-inflammatory med treatment, has taken over my life. Same as most of you describe. Right side, bottom of the rib cage. It's like a powerful Braxton-Hicks contraction. Only I'm 58 & not pregnant. I have described the spasms as so intense, it feels like the meat is being ripped off the rib bones.
I share your similar frustrations with doctors who don't help & opinionated people who have no clue. Finally I went to a sports medicine dr. May '09. He drew a diagram of the muscle system in the ab section. Pointed to the spot at the bottom of my right rib cage. Says a tiny tear there can take years to heal. Scar tissue can build up. He prescribed Lyrica to help stop the pain in the nerves. It does give me some relief. Whereas I usually have spasms anytime I walk, bend, reach, or push with my feet, on the Lyrica, I felt like the area was only on the verge of cramping. I could work past 2pm w/o pressing on my side & grimacing in pain. The down side--weight gain is a common side effect. I also felt like I was off balance. So now, I only take it when the muscle spasms become unbearable.
I rest on the wkd & do well, only to undo all the progress I've made by Fri of the next week. Before all this I walked 10K steps a day, lifted hand weights, and loved to do sit ups. Now my life is consumed with trying to avoid the spasms. I plan to go back to the dr. Someone told me there may be an injection of some sort that would kill the pain. I want my life back.
Finally I have found some other sufferers. I am a 40 year old female, very fit although very overweight. A lot of my weight is muscle from 10 years of martial arts, but I also carry a large amount of stomach fat. I have had three caesarean sections, the last was 16 years ago, and I also suffer these excruciatingly painful spasms. But mine happen when I am stretching my legs out, for example when sitting in a chair, I get no pain or spasms when working out or doing sit ups. The pain is very low, just between the pubic bone and belly button, and usually goes away after sitting upright. I don't know aobut my mineral levels, but I drink about 3 litres of water a day. Any advice please?
I'm 35 years old and have had this same knot, twitching sensation in my upper abs whenever I do any type of abdominal workout. I have been working out for many years and am in very good shape and eat at least one or 2 bananas a day. This started about 4 years ago and is very frustrating and painful as we all know. I will up my water intake and recommended supplements and hope for the best. So, annoying and painful! I have experienced similar pains in my calves and Legs, so I'm wondering if its all connected. Thanks for the posts and glad to know I'm not the only one....
I am glad I found this thread too! i thought I was going crazy, and my doctor doesn't seem concerned. But this is REAL PAIN, and it sure interferes with whatever you are doing. Sometimes if I laugh to hard, cough hard, or bend over too fast it brings on the spasms. The spasms happen in different areas of my abdomen. Sometimes the spasm "creeps" to other areas, sometimes its static. I have found that standing up to stretch the abs helps ease the pain, but it doesn't happen right away. I have to wait and use my Lamaze to help get through it. This helps me. Sometimes the pain eases up and then starts again. As the pain eases up, you can see my abs twitching and churning. There are times I have to ask my hubby for help because it hurts so much and he can help calm me down and help me breathe. One time my father had to pull his car over on a road trip so I could get out and stretch. I had a c-section almost 18 months ago. I haven't seen much advice/reason other than a mineral imbalance, electolyte deficiency, and water intake. Or that the muscles have been damaged, scarred, etc. I at least feel better knowing that I am not alone in my pain.
Well, the sports medicine dr I saw in 2009, retired. I took an appointment with another dr at the same practice. Turns out he is an orthopaedic surgeon. He listened to my story, did a brief exam, and ordered an xray. Then he said he honestly had nothing to offer me. He gave me a new prescription for Lyrica, and referred me to a pain management doctor. I see him Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010. I'm glad it's an afternoon appt. That's when the pain & ab spasm gets really bad. When I'm working, I'm at my desk most of the time. I get up & go to the mail room often just to get a little exercise. I get off at 4pm & commute 35 mins. It's a painful drive. If I stop at the store, I sometimes cancel out some items on my list because it's too painful to keep walking. Often I have to leave some of my groceries in the car because the ab spasm is too bad.
I hope this pain mgt. dr. can do something. At this point, I'd even welcome the placebo effect!
The abdominal muscles have about 80 percent stabilizer fibers and the rest strength fibers... when you work your abs you are putting a lot of strain on them... like any muscle.. it's going to cramp after over exertion... think of it as ... total muscle failure... working any muscle to failure you're going to experience that... when it happens the best thing to do is stand up and stretch your arms towards the sky over your head... it is extremely common and not a "deficiency"
I get the cramping up in my lower left abdomen and occasionally in my upper right. The muscle seizes up so tight it is like it is making a fist. The pain is so great I go into cold sweats and it takes all of my concentration just to stay conscious. On occassions the cramping can occur on and off for up to an hour and once I have an episode I am sore and at high risk for another for several days after. The first time this happened the pain was so great I went to the ER and they of course found nothing and didn't even make a suggestion as to what it could be. My only tool in sleuthing the mystery has been online research.
When an episode occurs I find standing up, supporting my weight by holding onto to the top of a door and gently stretching my torso downward can help. Also drinking water, I find, decreases the length of the occurance.
I have had ongoing weight problems and a hernia repair so my abdominal muscles are pretty much shot. I also have a chronic cough and often a deep cough can trigger the spasms.
It is awful living with the threat of a reoccurance hanging over my head all the time.
I have the spasm in the upper right ab along the bottom rib. It first came on in JAN2009, one year ago. I pulled my ab muscle when I started back on an exercise regimen. I do have a child, but that was 1 year, 3 months prior to this pull injury. I rested this muscle for months. In July2009, I started back on my fitness goals. While I could feel strain in that upper ab, I would back off if I felt even the slightest pulling or twinge. Over three months from that point, I strengthened my abs to where I was doing unbelievable ab exercises. Then, in OCT2009, sickness hit our household and I did not work out for just over two months. My ab muscles weakened. One day I started feeling this pulling sensation and the mild spasms started, just out of the blue. What I have discerned here is that when my abs are weak from lack of exercise, the spasms come back all due to the previous muscle pull injury. I just started back on my fitness routine and, like before, the ab is quite angry and sore, wanting to cramp just sitting here. I do massage it and this helps, just like with back muscles, massage is GGRREAT! Another interesting point I have not seen mentioned by anyone, according to the ultra athletes I am constantly around, it is possible to have a 'microtear' in the ab muscle that is there and will always be. Strengthening the abs SLOWLY over time will give the muscle what it needs and the spams will wean. Lastly, I take in more than adequate H2O and have always watched my sodium intake due to water retention. I take high quality vitamins, a broad spectrum of them, and eat the right foods to have proper nutrition and mineral levels. My recent blood panels came back normal. So, for me, this microtear in the muscle seems to be the answer for what it is and slowly strengthening the abs over months, not days or weeks, is the answer.
Hope this helps shed light on the issue for some folks. Other folks with lower right ab cramps or spasms might look into 'Sports Hernias'...these are hard to diagnose and are NOT the same as regular hernias. My husband has one, and our friend just had sports hernia surgery.....This sports hernia issue is more for the men with the pulling sensation in the lower right ab that sometimes extends to the testicals...sometimes experiencing the pulling sensation during orgasm.
Its been 11 years that I have been dealing with this pain. Its good to know there are others out there having the same symptoms like me. Seen a lot of doctors and done a lot of tests and still, no doctors were able to cure or even elevate the pain. I think a lot is related to weight gain and diet plus fluctuating minerals in our body. Like everyone else out there, I too am tired of having to deal with this crippling pain. Every time I go see a doctor, they think I am making things up. Doctors are constantly so busy and have tons of many patients to see that they lose foresight of why they become doctors in the first place.
I am glad I found this website. Its been very comforting to be able to connect with other sufferers like me. I am sure one day someone will post a positive cure for all to see. We just need to find the right doctor and I know there is one out there. Keep looking and don't give up.
I saw a pain mgt dr back in Jan. 2010. Waste of time & money. Every question he asked made it obvious he wanted my problem to be a herniated disk. I told him the ortho surgeon had looked at my xrays 2 wks prior. He thought it would be rare for my symptoms to be that. He said that an mri would probably be a waste of money & time.
So I insisted on the pain mgt dr listening to my 2 year story. My problem is intense ab muscle spasms whenever I am standing or walking. He just wrote a presc for Darvocette & ordered an mri of my back. (which I cancelled)
Later I read the posts of lordfriday - 1/20/10 & repent of 5/06/09. Thank you. This makes total sense. I went to the links suggested & learned that a very common problem, usually among runners is the SIDE STITCH! I tried the upward arm stretch suggested by lordfriday & the walking/breathing tips I found in researching the SIDE STITCH. It has really helped. I am having fewer spasms. I urge you to research the SIDE STITCH. And THANK YOU!
I would do very lightly a back extension until it loosens up. Then try your stomach exercise lightly. Do only a few reps and go back to back extensions. You will have to determine your own individual condition so you may have a painful condition until you make it. You want to be warmed up before doing this. And, make sure you stop when there is any stress and see if back extensions loosen it up. You can also use a gym ball. Lay passively on your back. Just let the muscles stretch. The other idea is this: back extensions can develop the abs as much as crunches. And, there are a number of ab exercises that do not require sit ups or crunches. These exercises are not critical for six pack. See Tom Venuto's advertisements about this. You can try Duspatin, an anti-spasmatic. It worked for me. What I understand is that the person has overdone the exercise and needs to back away for a month or so. In any case, remember that resistance training will do the job for abs so don't think crunches, etc., are the critical exercises. You may want to explore Pilates as well. Or, yoga. There are alternatives so don't give up.
BTW, if you want to go to a doctor, choose a doctor who specializes in sports medicine. It is a waste of money and time to choose a doctor who has no interest in exercise. First time I had trouble I went to a hospital and the doctors were speculating that it was this or that, etc. They had no experience in sports medicine. So, learn from my own experience. I had to keep repeating how twisting from my waist had caused it and finally a Chinese doctor used a heat lamp and acupuncture needles to relieve the intense pain -- very intense. It went away after a couple of hours but I can tell you it was an experience I would not want to repeat. I would suggest yoga -- not power yoga but simply static exercises that allow you to stretch slowly. You can use dumbbells and other exercises that do not bother you to keep your musculature. It is like eating too much. You get a plan how to overcome it, right? Same with this condition. The non-sports medicine doctors will give you a number of tests because they are afraid of being sued or it is required of them. If you don't know much about medicine, study it if you want to continue to exercise. Study sports medicine and anything else related to preventing the complaint you have. You can become quite knowledgable thru Google, etc. Don't think you can't understand this. Go slowly, and you will soon feel competent about your own problem. Bottomline: Don't go to non-sports medicine doctors. Study sports medicine to learn about your complaint. Good luck to all of you!
I have this exact same charlie horse problem when doing some ab exercises, under my right breastbone.
This, for me, started when I was pregnant. Once I got to 6 mos pregnant I started getting a tingly, tightening feeling in the same area. Tests showed nothing wrong. I found a thread at that time with other preggos who described the same problem. The best explanation was that baby was sitting on some nerves and causing the spasms/tingles. I definitely did not overwork my abs while pregnant.
Now I have a 2 1/2 year old, and am a personal trainer. It doesn't happen every single time, but often enough to be a problem and VERY painful. I find that non crunch abs exercises such as the plank are fine, as are lower ab isolating exercises. It's pretty embarassing to have that happen when you are trying to demonstrate how to properly execute a crunch though! I can actually see the muscle spasming and then releasing. I am glad that I'm not alone in this and I don't anticipate this going away. Frustrating!
I have the same knot, twitching sensation that feels like a Charlie horse, in my upper abs whenever I do any type of abdominal workout. However, I have had on occasions a sneeze tigers it. Wow.. after several CT Scans and MRI and ultra sounds with no results, I am amazed that no one knows what is going on. I can tell you it is not the potassium, or being pregnant.. I have deal with this problem since 2000 and I had my last child in 1985. If anyone ever gets an answer or relief, please post.
I was pleased to find this site. I have had this problem for a couple of years now and thought I was, well, crazy when trying to explain it to get help. I just have to bend over and some times this really gets the best of me. Unpredictable in when and how it hits. I have tried most everything. I have been searching out work of a specialty on fascia work, etc. I understand there are ligaments managing the position of organs along with the fasia that become "hooked" in areas so in certain positions a spasm is caused. I have had alot of fascia work done however not specifically on this problem and usually this is a specialty especially working with the organs. I have found someone in the area where I live that has a trained insight on this and I will come back here to this Post if I get some results. He is hard to get into so will see about getting an appt asap.
I have been suffering from tightness and light pain between my rib cage and across the upper abdomen. I have had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, abdominal scan and Cat-scan and they have all have come back clear. My gastroenterologist says I have abdominal spasms but they don't feel like a charlie horse (not as intense) and they last several hours.
I don't think I have the same thing as you all are describing even though increased potassium and water might still help. Do any of you have any suggestions? I do have IBS but the pain is up much higher than my colon.
Most of the comments here describe exactly what happens to me. I could be reaching into my car to get my sunglasses, washing dishes over the sink, holding a vacuum, or simply stretching. This morning the cramp was so bad it started to affect other muscles. After the pain stopped, I was shaking. I had open abdominal surgery over two years ago and it has been a problem ever since. I've had all the tests and they've found nothing wrong. I am always conscious of the possbility of a spasm because they occur often and at any time. Once I feel it start, it is too late to stop it. It is the most painful thing I have ever experienced. It truly is comforting to know I'm not alone - I will try the water and potassium - I'll try anything to stop this from happening.
I, too, experience abdominal muscle spasms. I don't work out but every time I bend down to pick up something, or if taking a bath, I reach to wash my feet, my stomach muscles will spasm and all I can do is bend backwards and wait! I have talked to many, many Doctors about this and they basicly just blow it off. My biggest fear is if I have a stroke and am unable to communicate, that I might have these cramps and no one will be able to help me bend to get rid of the pain. I have told my daughter about this fear I have. My mother also would get these muscle spasms and would cry out with pain. As many people that are posting about this, surely, you would think that ALL Doctors would immediately say, " Oh, I know exactly what you are talking about" Surely you would think that they would know about these muscle cramps. I am just frustrated about it. All, my blood work always comes back normal and I know these severe spasms I have are debilitating at the moment they are occuring. Even it they are not sports M.D's, they should not treat me as if they do not exist. Sorry for venting.
I am three weeks post-op for an abdominal hernia repair (recurring - 3rd surgery) with mesh being inserted. I am having severe abdominal spasms in the right side of my abdomen and the pain radiates into my breast and back. The pain is almost unbearable at times. I am not having any relief. I have been on pain meds and muscle relaxers for 3 weeks now. I just want to quit hurting. Does anyone else recall doing this? How long does this last?
When I sit in certain positions, or bend certain ways (can't do sit-ups) I experience a sudden thick swelling band extending the width of my body below my chest...feels like I'm paralyzed. Doesn't hurt, feels more like a spasm than a cramp...I usually shift positions, try to breath slowly, calmly and in a few minutes it's gone. It will be tender to touch for a day or so also. A couple of years ago I told my doctor (after it lasted about ten minutes that one time), I had an upper GI done that came back normal. It's never been pursued further, but it does still happen and has happened while driving. When it first started it would be a feeling of sudden paralysis (stiffness) below my breast on either side, then one day I experienced the swelling band and it extended across my chest below the breasts. I believe this to be my diaphram. It has been that way ever since. I feel lucky after reading some of these posts that it's not painful. I'll try drinking more water but won't take supplements unless my blood-work warrants it (and hasn't so far). I had my gallbladder removed 7 years ago, before any of this started.
Ok...I feel better knowing that I am not the only one in the world that has experienced this. My muscle spasm (which does feel like a charlie horse) started in December of 2009 after losing 60lbs. The spasm always happens in the same area (upper right abdominal quad) one night. Thereafter, again when I was getting ready to sit for a manicure. This year alone I have experienced it about 5 times. I have had CTscans and blood work done by 2 different physicians but still no answers. I am scheduled to have an Esophagastroduodenoscopy (EGD) soon. The Gastroenterologist believes it is scarred tissue from a previous surgery.....I JUST WANT IT TO STOP SPASMING!
Glad i found some info on the madness....I have had two c-section and my first baby weighed 9+ pounds. I also had 2 types of hernia that were corrected after second baby. Im not over weight, but I like to workout and for the simple fact that I used to be in the army, sit-ups does wonders for me. keeps the area tone...But since having these c-sections, man, I am not able to do even crunches are some of the pilates ab moves. That pain is excruciating!!!! Whew...its like a dont bother me type of pain!! Hate it! Are there any physical remedies for this crap? UGH!!!
I am glad to have found this web site. I started having muscle spasms maybe about 2years ago. I was doing stomach exercises and my stomach knotted up so bad that I couldn't move. I was stuck in the same position for almost 30 seconds until it let loose. I felt the knot and it was literally a knot in my stomach, but at times it moves around. It hasn't happened in a while since I haven't been working out, however today at the gym, I was extremely embarrassed, because while doing my stomach crunches, I experienced the knotting again and I couldn't move until it let up. I'm afraid and don't know what to do and when to go to get answers. I know for a fact I don't drink as much water as I should, so maybe I'll start by increasing my water intake and take it from there. If anyone gets answers, please let me know.
I work out 6 days a week and I used to work my abs every other day. One day my abs cramped so bad it dropped me to my knees. I never experience anything like that before. I had to lay on the floor flat on my back until the pain subsided. It was a little embarrasing but I managed to stand back up after five minutes. When I went to pick up my gym towel from the floor the cramp hit me again and I was back on the floor. Now I only work my abs once a week and I make sure I stretch in between sets. I'm always scared there going to hit again so I just have to watch it.
I didnt go through reading 3 years od posts to realize I am at the right place. Durring pregnancy I would have cramps in my calf usually in my sleep at night, I would wake up screaming calling my husbands name. There was this one thing he would do to ease the pain which is to extend the muscle or take my foot and make an L shape which extends the calf and releases the pain. 15 years later and 3 pregnancy later, I decide to get into shape and now I start getting stomach cramps. After a few cramps which usually happen when Im not doing exercise, I remebered what he would do so I tried it myself. Instead of curling up into a ball when I get the cramp, I strech out my arms and my abs as much as possible and let me tell you they pass 3X faster than curling up and waiting for them to pass. Hope this elevates the pain sum?
Holy Moly! Thought I was crazy (and so do the people around me). I had gallbladder surgery when I was 20 (I'm now 40) and I've had these muscle spasms for 15-18 years!!!!!! 1st it was right below my gallbladder scar. I could feel the muscle and I would press as hard as I could into my stomach with my fingers. Then I can feel the muscle slightly give a little at a time. It takes my breathe away and lasts for 30-45 sec and may repeat right after. Doesn't matter what I'm doing: sitting still, reaching for something, sneezing!, or working out. THEN I had my daughter and now the spasms are by my gallbladder scar AND up over my left rib cage. I can't believe so many people suffer from this but have the same experience at the drs. I've had a CAT scan and ultrasound. The drs just look at me like they've never heard of this before and they have no idea what to do. If anyone finds out anything PLEASE post.
I have had these spasms since I had a tummy tuck in middle age. I had a cat scan, ultra sound and several office visits. No luck, no problem I was told over the last 16 years. yet, I can cause this by rearing up in bed, doing sit ups or the like. My several doctors have had no advice. Finally, one from Canada told me that it is most likely scar tissue and that bowel or intestine can get stuck in that. I do feel something hard and popping out when this happens. The pain is awful. I get relief from filling my stomach with air as I bend backwards slightly with my arms raised. Crazy sounding but we are all looking for relief. My Mom has it too and she has had several abdominal surgeries and 5 kids. At 92 she suffers from it too, is afraid to do much as a result. Sleeping is difficult as she feels her stomach falls out when she is on her side. Most worthy of a great doctors care.
Thank GOODNESS I'm not the only one! I really thought I was the freak at the gym who literally stopped breathing through the pain I feel sometimes with these weird cramps!! I'm 27 and desperately trying to get fit again ready for snowboarding in March, and I can't do sit ups, or when I do, I'm absolutely terrified!! Maybe there is a stretch or soemthing we can do before doing gentle sit ups or cruntches? It's awful, my boyfriend was going to take me to casualty last night because the pain was so awkward and uncomfortable! It's so weird, like I feel its a hernia or something because my right side stays slightly enlarged and sensitive for a few days afterwards! Just a note, but has anybody noticed that everyone has said it's only on their right side?? That's weird!!
I was laughing so hard that my stomach and back muscles started to spasm and I couldn't breathe in. It suddenly wasn't very funny. I couldn't breathe in. After 5 minutes if this not slowing, I had to call 911 when they got here it was still going on. I couldn't talk so I couldn't get any words out. They thought I was having a heart attack. One guy made out my whispers and started to massage my abdomin (abdomen), and they slowly went away after about 15 minute total of them getting tighter and tighter.What woul've happened if I would've passed out? Has anyone heard of this happening to anyone?
I'm a 47yo male and once in a while if I cough even slightly I get a VERY painful, hard bulge on the left side of my abdomen. It's usually about 3 to 4 inches across & maybe 1 to 2 inches wide. It's gotten so painfull at times that I feel like passing out from it. Sometimes I can feel it acting up by fluttering in that area so I usually take motrin or a muscle relaxer which seems to help keep it from escalating into it sticking out but usually it happens without warning. I have to either stand up with my hand pressing inwards on it while leaning slightly backwards or lay down flat on my bed on my stomach sometimes for it to go away. I know it's about to go away because it starts twitching and then it subsides but the area is usually sore for a few hours to a day afterwards.
This has been going on since I was 24yo and happens at least 3 to 5 times a year. I first went to the doctor for a diagnosis 23 years ago but he couldn't find anything wrong. I've been to several doctors over the years, have had cat scans with and without dye and still they can find anything. My current doctor seems to think it's week abdomen muscles and says the only way he can really give an accurate diagnosis is If I see him when it's happening which there's no way I could ever do because I just wouldn't be able to drive a car to get there from being in so much pain. Also, sometimes I experience a "charley horse" pain under my left or right ribcage (the entire length of my ribcage) which can hurt pretty bad too and seems to act in a way somewhat like what happens in my left abdomen area without anything sticking out. If I stretch the area out it starts to flutter after a few minutes and then goes away. I'm so sick and tired of the pain I suffer because of this but especially from what happens in my abdomen.
Thank the lord for this thread!! I gave birth to my son 5 years ago and have been having these horrific spasms in my right upper quad for 4 years. I have had several test, even gallbladder removal and nothing! It happens when I try and do sit ups, bend the wrong way, or if I get really cold and shiver it will happen. The pain is so horrible I feel like I am dying and you can feel it and see my abdomen move, very scarey. it usually last 15-20 minutes and stretching straight out and putting pressure on the area is only relief. I have been to several doctors and noone has any answers. I go see a sports medicine doctor today and pray this is the answer I have been looking for. I am thankful that I'm not the only one suffering from this and sorry that any of you have had to go thru this!! If anything comes out of my appointment today I will post.
I wanted to follow up on my previous post. I went to see a sports medicine doctor yesterday and after hearing my story and assessing me he said I had a abdominal muscle strain. He hit the nail on the head! these can be very hard to heal and if you look up abdominal strains on internet it gives the exact symptoms we have all described in this thread. I plan on vsiting him twice a week for awhile for therapy and I am sooo excited after so many test and surgery I finally have my answer and getting the right treatment. It is hard for a regular physician to think outside the box and I will live with no gallbladder because of it, which was my decision in the end but after 6 doctors say gallbladder and it functions at 95% you finally say ok maybe? Im thankful for a diffrent view and would suggest to all of you that seeing a sports doctor might also be your answer.
I have had this problem since 3 etopics and the birth of a 10 pound baby. This has been going on for 10 years and I drink plenty of water. Is there ever a time that this would require surgery to repair a muscle?
Started with calf cramping at night and after about a year of hell I found 1 mg of ativan helped me through the night. The calves are not as severe now that the cramping/spasming has moved to the upper abd area on R and L sides. I am truly debilitated now. No exercise tolerated. I teach nursing (thank God as I couldn’t last 2 hours on the floor as a real nurse anymore). I have, of course, tried the electrolytes and nothing helps. I can have problems with other muscles too but let me tell you the ones under each side of the rib cage take all the attention. Reaching, lifting, coughing and laughing are the hardest. Just got over a cold and the extremes I went through not to cough… Wiping my own butt brings on extreme pain/spasm. When I get home from work I have two alcohol drinks to suppress the central nervous system. It gets me through the rest of the night. MD’s, neurosurgeons etc think it all in my head because they can’t diagnose and treat the problem. I’m thinking of going “natural extreme” and trying ****** therapy. I wish all of you luck.
I really thought that i was the only one going through this and feel a sense of relief now that i know others are suffering becuase i thought i was going crazy. i don't wish this on anyone but like one of the posts stated, i thought i had an alien inside me . What i can tell you about what i am going through is like many of the posts i see. i have been suffering with this about 7 years now..these spasms have happened to me about every 6-7 months and when it comes on , it is usually after i have bent over , coughed , laughed really hard or just plain sitting up! i hate it because when the spasm comes, it will come in 3's ...it is just like a Charlie Horse, i feel like something is twisting, then it lets go and then it happens like that again two more times! i massage it out and it goes away but it leaves me shaken and of course completely nervous. i have gone to my doctor and every test was taken but nothing was found , a few months later it happened and i went to the ER and again, every test was taken and nothing was found. This has resulted in alot of back pain but i think i have done that to myself because i just stiffened up so much . Going to the Chiropractor helps that but i guess all i can say is i am ALWAYS waiting for the next spasm and am truly sick of it! i also get the fluttering on my right side and although that doesn't hurt , it just bothers me. i will look into potassium and electrolytes and will also drink more water. When i work out it seems to help my back and i feel no pain at the time but, with that being said , i do not do any abdominal workouts in fear of the SPASM...HATE IT !
yup i can't do situps, some yoga positions, and etc. What really irritated me i had a spasm going down a slide with my son. Well i got a CT scan. impression normal. Today i got Ck, B12 and folate blood work done. Tomorrow i see a neurologist. This spasm or whatever has been happening on my right lower and upper abdomen. The severe spasms happen in my lower right quadrant. it feels like a fist size mass moving around my abdomen. One time it was gross I actually saw it. My episodes can last up to ten minutes. This problem started when i began exercising after giving birth to my son. I really want to slim down my belly and loose weight but i'm scared to do hardcore exercise.
My God, I also thought I was the only one. I have been having these same spasms since I gave birth to my twins in 2004, one was natural and the other was c-section. Since then the episodes and the pain has gotten increasingly worse and more frequent. I get the pain in my lower right quadrant, and it feels like someone is grabbing the muscle under the skin and turning it ( it's like a rolling turn) and it is scary because I see it too (it looks like something from "Alien"). This started happening after orgasms and then moved on to during exercise. I've been to the doctors, seen the specialist, had all the scans, x-rays, bloodwork and the only thing they found were gallstones - which ironically don't bother me and are not causing any pain, they're on the wrong side. I thank all the people who have posted their stories and advice, I will definately look into increasing my potassium and electrolyte intake, and I will also talk to my doctor about a possible muscle strain. Thank you again to everyone who posted and I hope you all are finding relief. Be Blessed
Kind of comforting to see everyone with similar problems. I started working out a few moths ago and everything was fine but about a month ago I had this horrible pain in my extreme lower left abdomen around my pubic bone. I thought it was my bladder so I went to the doctor and the urine test they ran came back fine and was told that it was muscle strain but the pain continued. It only comes back occasionally now and I've resumed working out but I'm afraid of the pain coming back. I even felt it a little bit on my first day back to working out. We'll see how this works out.
I too am experiencing this problem, it just happened last night in yoga class while doing forward bends. I believe it has to do with dehydration/low potassium because I recently started taking blood pressure meds that contain a diuretic & started getting the calf & foot spasms as well last week. last night I could actually see & feel the muscle in my stomach tighten & bulge. Going to pick up some potassium supplements today, I will post the results!
I am a gym rat and former athlete, and have had this problem my whole life. No one knows the cure. The way I combat this ailment is coconut water and daily abdominal stretches. Google the yoga position downward dog and use that stretch after every set when doing ab excercises. I do the downward dog stretch for several minutes pryor to starting my ab routine. Dont get discouraged keep your reps low (under 20) and stretch ALOT. You will be able to get abs, and know that you are not alone with this condition adjust your diet and do cardio.
Sorry its not downward dog. Lay flat on your stomach. extend your arms as though you are doing a push up but keep your belt line on the ground and push your chest out you will feel the stretch in your abs. Its the best stretch do do before exercising abs and if you feel the twitching start go immeadiatly( spelling?) into that stretch. Guys during sex if you feel the twitching start you can do this stretch and actually stimulate your woman with real deep penetration. I'm not trying to be funny its happened to me several times during sex and can freak out your partner. Good luck to everyone.
My turn now. Just happened for the first time in my life...51 years old. Upon my 50th sit-up, I felt something "pop" in my left ab muscle. Excrutiating pain! I felt myself turn white, i felt like I was burning up, extremely dizzy, and I just knew I was going to pass out for the fist time ever. I sat still for about 5 minutes (felt like an eternity) until I came back to my senses. Scared me to death as I had no idea what had happened...this definitely sounds like it!
I was wondering if anyone has found a solution to this problem yet? I am experiencing the same sort of symptoms and I have been for almost 4 months now. I get the muscle spasm in my lower left abdomen only when I'm working it out or when I'm driving. I asked my own doctor about it and she had no insight or clue as to what it could be.
Any new developments or insight would be really helpful, I'm tired of the pain!!
I've been having this problem for a few years now and it does not bother me at all unless I tighten my stomach muscles, by situps or crunching etc. It is very painful and if I stretch my upper stomach completely it releases and goes away. I would never have this problem if I never did sit ups. I am trying to strengthen my stomach muscles by doing a little each day. Had three c-sections and I believe my stomach muscles are damaged.
I've had the same problem. I can bend over to tie my shoe and if I bend wrong it feels like someone is ripping out my right upper abdominals. I can do most ab work fine. It's when I bend or crunch just a certain way and I have to straighten out and almost do a backbend to stretch it out. Mine, however, is very sensitive to touch at all times. It hurts to push on and definitely is larger on that side. Test show nothing, and I had a tummy tuck 2 years ago so it's not loose abs. I have no clue! Very frustrating!!
I'm laughing at all of you because I just came from my first workout/tae kwon doe class and went to do figure 8 sit ups with a weight, on a V angle and OOOOO man watch out the freak that brought her 5 kids with her and 3 in class (teenagers) their mom is in the corner facing the wall!!! I broke my rib/s flying over the couch 10 months ago trying to save my 2 year old from falling down the spiral metal stairs. Well needless to say he ended up falling part way and I flew over the couch like Superwoman literally landing on my middle side rib cage, doubled over in pain after the fall couldn't have saved a fly at that point. 3 months ago my now 3 year old decides to press on the gas button while my 2 teenage girls start to give him a ride on the quad...they end up in a pond..mom's adrenaline kicks in again thrusting barefoot(100 degrees out, I'm not a hick) through pricker bushes to save everyone.....everyone was fine and got off the quad before it possibly flipped.....left with scars up my leg. So my 16 year old son says "Ya know mom that's twice you tried to save us and you actually did nothing, but severely hurt yourself...everyone else was fine!" Anyway, can't do sit ups either, maybe up to 20 and then *&$%#%# on my middle right side too. Thanks to you guys looks like I'm in this for the long haul! Take care and press on!
I have worked out all of my life and just started getting this problem when doing serious lower ab work. For days afterward, even when coughing, I would feel extreme pain in my lower left abdomen. If I pushed on it to release the pressure, I would burp for hours.
Went to a doctor who said I had a full large colon (basically, that this is trapped gas). Apparently, this can happen if you don't feel constipated. He recommended cutting down on citrus foods and other gas-inducing foods. I realized that I was eating citrus foods and peppers before working out.
When I stopped eating these on the night before a morning workout and the day of an afternoon workout, I was fine. I also drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of baking soda in the mornings, which helps to push the gas out of your system. Might not be everyone's problem, but it's worth a shot.
I've had the same problem since I had my first child. I had a c-section for both of my children. When I laugh, cough to hard, move a certain way ---bending to do my shoes, etc., or abdominal exercise it startings. It is very frustrating. I just want this to stop. Went to a couple of doctors had a CAT scan done. No one know what is really causing this problem. I am determine to find out. I am happy to know I am not the only one having this problem. I also have no clue! Very frustrating!!
Best thread ever. My first spasm took place approximately 6 months after my gallbladder was removed in 2006. The first spasm lasted approximately 1.5 hours. Then it happened 3 more time in the following months. It happens whenever I exercise my stomach. I have it down to 2-3 mintues. I lay flat on my stomach (floor is best) and totally relax. I went to a specialist because I was previously advised that it was probably scar tissue. After listening to my brief story the specialist stated that if it is always in the same area and stops throbbing/knotting up after full relaxation that it is definately muscle related. I have scheduled for a triple CT Scan for my stomach and pelvic areas for Friday (October 14th). He is reading the results later the same day. I will update all of you on the results and his suggestions. Wish me luck!
Keep us posted I have the same problem Doctor said if i wanted i could get a CT scan also. I've had these muscle spasms for going on 3 years and would like to get better because i'm in the process of becoming a fitness instructor and it is very frustrating that i can't work my abbs :/
CT scan came back with no problems. All the doctor could advise is that it is muscle related. My organs and insides are clean with no scar tissue. I am going to try the holistic approach. There is a topical cream that is good for the relaxation of the muscle. I already take magnesium everyday and will be adding a potassium supplement (no more than 99 mg per day) per the naturalist. I will keep you updated. I am sticking with basic yoga and meditation. If I come up with anything else I will let you all know. It seems that if so many people have the same problem that something could be done to help us. It looks as if we will have to do the research and help ourselves.
I have had that problem with my stomach muscle tightening up last August (2010) that lasted for a little while.. Had an ultrasound done checking all my vital organs only to find nothing was wrong. So I went and had several massages done and it went away. A year later - It's back again but not as intense. So I'll be seeing my massage therapist again. Can you please keep me posted as to what helped with that problem. I will talk to a naturalist here and share some of what was told to me.. Aloha!
I thought I was the only one!
This happens to me randomly, but that's usually enough to keep me away from sit-ups altogether. I'm so afraid of going through that pain, that it just stops me, leg cramps can't even compare. :( It's like my inner organs are dying.
I still try to get in other low impact abdominal exercise, like for the sides and lower back, but nothing gives a good burn like a sit-up.
hi i have a small muscle spasm (hand width below bra) mainly on my right but do get them both sides. I get them when im bending down..and OMG the pain!! It lasts about 3 mins. I was running loads..but am injured at the moment, so having a break. Im getting the spasms still though even when im cleaning. ive started to take multi vits with minerals...lets hope they may help!
yeah and I just got a CT scan as well. pretty mad that we really don't know what the cure is. Been having this problem for about 2 years. i remember i would do 300 sit ups a day in high school and now i could only do about maybe 3 sets of an ab workout and BAM!! the pain hits and im on the floor for about 10 minutes. **** is painful lol. its funny...really thought i was the only one with this problem! what im thinking that could be the problem...is that ive been taking a lot of pre wrkout supps like Jack3d, C4, N.O xplode. maybe this might be the problem for me and others. since i know that preworkout supps really pump up the muscle your working out. who knows!!! ehhh, ***** cuz i want to fight. cant fight with a weak core. =/
I am a 37yo mother of a 12yo, and I have had this problem for a few years now... It always catches me off guard, and who knows what will set it off. Today, for instance, I sneezed, and a muscle in my upper left abdomen (just an inch or so below my rib cage) seized up. Not only is it extremely painful, but I can feel the knotted muscle with my fingers, hard as a rock. I had my husband feel it when they first started several years ago... He works on his feet and gets muscle spasms in his legs occasionally, so he can relate. Anyway, If I straighten up (standing or laying down) to stretch out my abs, it will release almost as quickly as it seized up. For me, it's the same muscle on the same side every time it happens. I don't think this is related to childbirth for me, personally, as my son was in elementary school when they started. I have recently begun working out again, and have noticed an increase in frequency of the attacks from once or so per week to more than once per day. (this morning, it seized up as I got out of my car!) I have been on a diuretic for blood pressure issues for years and years. I will try the potassium theory, because working out depletes potassium, as do diuretics. The diuretic probably triggered the problem years ago, and my recent exercising has exacerbated it. Best of luck to everyone!
Well I won't bore any of you with the details...let's just say "ditto" to all of the entries for the past 4 years.
I fall on the side of the overweight, out-of-shape people, 3 C-sections, 1 umbilical hernia repaired.
I've had one doctor suggest--SCAR TISSUE. Haven't heard anyone address this. I've not had it looked at by a doctor other than this doctor just suggesting it could be that and not any solution given. It seems to me those that work out could have scar tissue develop from injuries...maybe even slight tears that they might not even be aware of.
Anyway, just thought I might throw the idea into the mix, I'm going to do some more research on it.
see only a good experience physiotherapist can help u out . ur abdominal wall is made up of four main muscles (external oblique,internal oblique, transverse abdominus,rectus abdominus ) so every muscles have its different origin and insertion and different exercise regime so only an expirence physiotherapist explain u and solve ur abdominal problems . ulrasound in physiotherapy can also helpful in some cases and abdominal manipulation tecnique is also very effective in all these cases.
I am having the same problem, but it started from simply lifting a heavy suitcase first thing in the morning...I rock climb and run and have never had an issue like this.
Mine is literally from the very top of my abdomen below the breast bone all of the way down to right above my pubic bone...has anyone had this type of spasm from top to bottom? It seems to relax a good bit laying down, but anything using my abs hurts, including sitting up or even breathing deeply.
I have this same affliction. My lower right quadrant will spasm so painfully that my wife said it's like labor pain. Sometimes it radiate up my right side like a domino affect and my my whole abdomen can tighten up and look swollen. Three years now. Ultra Sound found nothing.
One thing that really helps with the pain: as soon as the cramp or spasm begins get an ice pack on the specific area( sometimes I have more than one area to ice so I will lean against a wall or door frame holding a couple of ice packs on myself. The blood that has rushed to the area will start to leave and the cramp will begin to subside.
They use this method at marathons for when runners get leg cramps.
I've had off and on problems with this same issue for about a year now. I've had chest x-ray on my rib cage and an ultra-sound on my gall bladder. Everything checked out fine. I've come to the conclusion it's muscle spasms. What's weird, they get worse or come on when I switch supplements. I am taking One A Day Energy to save some money. Normally I take GNC Vita-Packs Active and add a triple fish oil pill. When these started a year ago, I was taking Centum. I'm not sure if it is the multi-vitamins or the fish oil that is makign the difference. I think I will finish my One A Days and add fish oil to see if that helps.
I started getting these spasms after delivering my twins. In fact, I thought having my hernia and diastasis recti fixed, the cramps would go away, but they didn't! I notice the cramps sometimes when I bend over to pick something up. It starts spasming so hard you can see my muscle twitching under my skin! I can usually stretch it out, but it takes awhile.
I cannot believe the amount of posts I see here, I have been lifting for years and am in pretty good shape. Unlike many posts I read, I have never experienced the pains in my abdominals while working my abs, it is always a few hours after my workout when the muscles have relaxed, but same intense pain and knotting on the right side a lot of people have described. I am thankful to have found this sight with other sufferers because no one I have talked to has any clue as to what I am going through when the spasms hit. I am definitely going to try Potassium, Magnesium and messaging. I already take in electrolytes, but maybe I should look into getting them from other than sodium laden sports drinks such as gatorade and powerade.
lordfriday, I don't think you understand our pain and frustration. Most of us get these spasms while doing little to no activity so yes it is cause to be concerned. I also had the imbarrising gym moment when my trainer looked at me as if I was crazy or faking. Sometimes I have spasms from bending over to pick up stuff when I'm cleaning or just dropped something. This is not from overstrain unless I strained my abdominal muscles 8 years ago when I gave birth to my son. You do not identify with this problem so please don't criticize us! This problem is real and I feel so much better knowing I am not alone...
To my fellow sufferers, I find that if when you are having a spasam lay flat on your stomach and try to relax. It helps me, I figured that out while I was laying on the gym floor. I haven't been back to the gym since, that was a year ago.
Hello I have been having this problem off and on for about a few years now. And I studied into it and there is two types of abs on your stomach, inner and outer oh and the oblique's on the sides. I think I had a problem they described before where part of your intestine pushes through the muscle wall like a hernia. This happened to me recently and i swear right on my right side by the end of my rib I think my ab muscle is injured. I decided to strengthen my abs so it wont happen so I was able to do the kind of crunches where you do one side at a time and try to touch your elbow to your opposite knee. Those gave me a pretty bad pain in my right side but no cramp. (by the way I was in the hospital with pancreatitis not too long ago so thats probably whey the pain was there) Then I tried to do just regular normal crunches and after about the 8th one I got one of the worst spasms and it lasted a long time. When people are out of shape like me and your midsection is not solid then its just nothing but fat pushing around those organs in your stomach which can lead to diabetes and other health problems. People need to research on the kind of food that you can eat that would burn that inner belly fat.
I saw your post from 2009, and this is the EXACT thing that happens to me...its excruciating and so painful that you see stars and if you dont give it enough time to subside...mine is usually at least 15-20 min, you can feel it creeping over to the other side. Ive had a CAT scan because i was so scared that I had a tumor or something because my dr didnt have an answer and it wasnt a hernia. Did you even find a way to make it stop happening? any kind of exercise or mineral supplement? I find myself being careful and just not doing things that might trigger it. did you have any kind of surgery or were you ever pregnant? this only started happening after I had my daughter 6 years ago
Same deal with me except I haven't had any surgeries or issues. I'm a young, healthy 25 yo male and have always been into working out and lifting weights. Only until 2 weeks ago have I been experiencing muscle spasms in my abs upon doing crunches.
I have recently switched over to the Vegan diet. Maybe this has something to do with it. Was meat giving me certain nutrients that are deficient in the Vegan diet, and is this deficiency leading to the spasms?
It is weird because none of my other muscles are experiencing any issues, in fact, I feel great overall. It is only when I do crunches, that my abs seize up.
I’m curious if anyone here has ever had a diagnosis and remedy for their problem which probably has differenct causes in different people. I’ve worked out for almost 30 years and these started around 12 to 15 years ago and a full on spasm lasts 2 to 5 minutes of extreme discomfort while you press down on the ab muscle which forces it to relax. If I’m lucky someone sees me at the gym and although I can barely speak, if you can get someone to run to the admin desk and bring a very warm towel it seems to help. These spasms go away, and sometimes there is continuing soreness and sometimes a few minutes later and you’re fine. Sometimes I have warning days or hours before one occurs, like a partial spasm, but since I never know if the warning will lead to a full spasm, I try to accomplish what I had planned to accomplish and hope for the best. Lately, I have had frequent warnings that I have a high risk of a full on spasm and depending on the severity of that warning, I either ignore it, change my workout routine to avoid the exercises that seem to be correlated with the spasms or if the pain resolves within a few minutes, I might move onto something else. Sometimes, I just terminate the rest of the workout as after a bad episode, it seems foolish to look for more trouble, especially when they seem to happen in clusters. I can go for a year without a problem and then I’ll just be sitting watching a movie and move to pick something off the floor and bam! Can’t talk move or anything for about 5 minutes while I press on the muscle until it relaxes back. Doing ab work definitely seems to be a trigger, but they can happen anytime with or without warning. For a while they seemed to only affect one part of the ab, but now it can affect, upper, lower, right left. About 4 weeks ago, I was visiting family and working on an unfamiliar crunch machine and got a full on spasm. I stayed away from the gym for about a week. Then this past Saturday I was doing some ab exercises (not crunches, and BAM, my righ upper ab was [in a full spasm and when I tried to push on it with my hand, I immediately triggered a second simultaneous spasm of the lower left. One is pretty bad, two at the same time, is less fun. I could have one right now writing this or I might not have another problem for 2 years or I could have a cluster of them over the next several days. And they don’t just happen working out. I almost wish one would happen when I was at a MD appointment so that doctor could actually see what’s going on.
No one can tell me what it is, I was checked for hernias which were ruled out, but other doctors have said it could be a potassium inbalance (like a Charlie-horse) or some type of intestinal spasm. It might be related to other medicatons I take. Also, I don’t know if this is relevant, but for the last 10 years, even though my abs look fine, I experience an ever-growing weakness when I try to sit up to get out of bed in the morning. None of my doctors can explain this, but I have a feeling these might be related.
If anyone can shed more light on this, I’d be grateful.
Thanks for all your sharing and good luck to all of you
I'm so glad to find people who have same things like me... I felt so alone with that . I'm 27 yo (sorry for my english, I'm french), all that annoying experience start 2 years ago, when I worked my abs muscle I felt my upper right abdomen like he was rust ! I don't car about that ! then my cramps in that area starts when I'm trying to lace my shoes or picking something on the floor, always in sitting position doing a particular movement ! I've always worked up my abs since I was young, very hardly !
Then 9 month ago that upper right abdomen began to twitch very hardly, like there was an alien in it... I was freaked out, to know what it's happening to me I've started to see on google what can it be. And I found that it can be Als, a serious muscular disorder... at this moment my stress level was very high, because in that disease there cramps and focal twitch... I thought it was the end for me.. All my body began to twitch after seing that information! I saw many doctors, done 2 emg and clinical in 6 months, and all is clear, no fasciculation have been detected in my body and my sick abdomen, the neuro said to me that I'm stronger like a rock, but don't know why I have that! but in final that experience cause to me a several OCD !
I can do a lot of crunch exercice, there no problem ! but always I can trigger my cramp in my upper right abdomen in a particular position, the muscle is hard like a rock, then I need to relax my abs to feel better.
I'm happy because I found peoples with the same problem, but the annoying things is that we don't know why we are experiencing that ! someone have an idea?
In my research about this I found these things to help stop abdominal cramping during exercises:
Good things to do:
* Have electrolytes in system (drink Gatorade or equivalent)
* Consume less salt (it may cause deficiency in what muscles need**)
* Potassium (Banana or supplements before hand)
* Stretching before vigorous exercise
**Muscles Need: Magnesium, Vitamin B
Key things to try:
* Drink ample water (at least a water bottle or Gatorade before)
* Eat a banana (or if you must, a supplement/multivitamin).
* Stretching may or may not help but you could try
The potassium in the banana may help with the spasms/cramping. If it does, a multivitamin or potassium supplement may be useful. If the banana does not really help and you are certain you are drinking plenty (it is still not a bad idea to drink more), it could be your diet. Eat more healthful foods, with emphasis on consuming less sodium (this part may be a smart idea anyways because excessive salt can be very damaging to the organs in the long run).
I am no health professional but have done research and am enthusiastic about health so if none of these ideas work, you may want to consult a health professional or sports medicine professional for more advice. Be sure to take everything into moderation and use your best judgement. Best of luck!
I have had the very same problem for couple years now>I blame mine on chemo,however i needed to find a blame!! But you are so right by massaging the cramping muscle away! Wished there was a answer for all of us that would just make it go away forever!!
For the people how are having upper ab spasms with exercise, it is simply because your upper rectus abdominus muscles are too tight. This does not equate to too strong, just too tight. They need to be massaged and stetched, it will take a few weeks, but things will start feeling better. DO NOT DO SIT UPS WHILE YOU HAVE THIS CONDITION, as it will only serve to further tighten already hyperactive muscles. You really shouldn't do situps anyway because they are an almost worthless exercise, especially if you are trying to rid yourself of belly fat. One muscle worked (rectus abdominus), plus its a small muscle, equals minimal calories burned equals almost no fat lost. Do different forms of the plank instead.
This has happened to me to few times In the last few years. I am 35 years old and work out 3-4 times per plus run about 15-20 moles per week. I always work abs in with my weight training. It happens mostly when doing an ab exercise. It's comes fast and painful just like a charlie horse strain. I can see my ab muscle bulge up from under my skin. It's like when you pull both ends up a jolly rancher wrapper and it spins around to unwrap. Very painful. I usually just aggressively massage the muscle back down to its natural position and size. I really wish I knew how to prevent this from happening. Only thing I can come up with was better hydration.
Hi. I'm a 25 year old female who has had the exact same CHARLIE HORSE spasms in my upper left side of abdominal since I was 21. The first time I had these Spasms I was having a bowel movement I thought holy smokes am I in labor and didn't know I was pregnant!? Bc it felt pretty darn close! ( I wasn't) but I had to use " he he whooooo" breathing technique to get through cramping.. Other times it happens while throwing up when sick ( morning sickness, stomach bug ect...) doing sit ups and two days ago I was getting waxed and I tensed up and WHAM did it again! Now dr says dehydration I say hogwash bc I drink at least 80 oz aday of water! I'm frustrated and just don't know what's going on. I'm not fat I go to gym 3 to 4 times a week and I just want some help!
I am a physically fit 45 yr old male. The last 6 days I've been getting muscle spasms on the upper right side of my abs. There is no pain, but I'm worried it could be serious, since it has lasted for almost a week. A friend suggested it could be due to IBS, but I have been fairly normal with my Bowel movements.
I thought that I was the only one!!! I have the exact scenario. After my 2nd child and an emergency c-section I can no longer do sit ups. The pain is excruciating. You can see the muscles jump during the spasm. I saw an episode on Dr. Oz where a woman was having the same problem and the doctors had to go in and sew her ab muscles back together because they were ripped down the middle.
My husband is also having this horrible abdominal (muscle) pain. His started about six years ago. It usually starts below the chest and when the muscle spasms it extends out where you can see it. It can last about 30 seconds, then will subside only to come back in a minute or so. It also spasms in all four quadrants of his abdomen. Sometimes, the spasms will last only about 15 minutes and the longest attack lasted 14 hours. He has COPD (breathing disease) and one doctor said it was caused by his coughing so hard. We've gone to numerous doctors and about eight trips to the emergency room. They give him pain medication, then send him home when the spasms end. The last attack about a month ago was the 14 hour one and we finally went to the ER again, even though we never get any help. This time, they gave him morphine, and admitted him. He's had about 12 CT scans, but no other tests. This time, we were optimistic since they admitted him. Again, no other tests were done. We had a surgeon come in and we though he would have something that could be done, but he had never heard of this type of pain. He was set up to to to physical therapy to try and build up the abdominal muscles, and had his first visit today. Through the years, we have found a hand held heavy duty massager helps, along with hot showers and a heating pad. Unlike a lot of posters here, he's not athletic. He's 70 years old, and 25 pounds overweight. I'm sure his weight contributes to it, and I'm now trying to help him lose weight. I'm trying to get him to walk and get some exercise also. It's hard to believe no one can figure out why people get this pain and how to get rid of it. A lot of posters have recommended magnesium and potassium, so I've started him on those. We are willing to try anything to get him some relief. It's so hard wondering when the next attack will happen. We've learned it happens when he bends over or twists, so he's learning not to do these things. With all the doctors, we can't get them to do any tests, which is very frustrating. All they have done is the Ct scans. They say this shows all the organs and is much better than other tests. He did have an upper GI test about six months ago which showed he had bad ulcers. We were excited thinking this was the cause, but nothing has changed except his ulcers are healing. I will continue to monitor this and hopefully soon, someone will have a solution we can investigate. Good luck to everyone!
I have had this same issue now for the past 4 years. It started about a year after my 2nd c-section. I was convinced someone left something in me. I started getting charlie horses just getting under my bedsheets and using my abs. I had them during pilates if I sat in one position for too long. I would go to tie my shoes or put my strap on my heel and if I stood in the same position, it would go into a cramp! It hurts so bad. I have also been sick once while throwing up over the toilet, my stomach went into a charlie horse and I thought I was literally going to die! The doctor at first just shrugged his shoulders not knowing what it was and just kind of said hmmm.
I later went to a plastic surgeon unhappy with the exterior of my belly after 2 csections and he assured me that I needed muscle repair. I thought it would be the complete answer to my issues. Lax muscles, seperated muscles, ect. Well it's been over a year since my surgery to repair the muscles and guess what came back? YES. The muscle spasm/charlie horses. I finally went in and had a CT scan. They came back and found nothing. My doctor thinks they may be adhesions attatching themselves to the insides causing havoc in there. Adhesions are just like clumps of scar tissue. They now want me to have exploratory surgery however if it is adhesions, I'm now adding more scar tissue to my body by going in. I am on the fence as to what I should do.
Would you believe it when I tell you that I have had this abdominal spasm on and off for about 20 years? It involves my side/flank muscles and back muscles as well!! It's hell on earth when I have a bad episode. I noticed the person who said it is worse when you're constipated, and that has been my experience also. Right now it's been happening for the last five days ever since I last vacuumed the living room and dining room. That's all I did. Yesterday afternoon I even went to Emergency but the doc there didn't help and sent me home with Tylenol #3 and some Naprosyn. I need a strong muscle relaxant, not an anti-inflammatory! So, tomorrow I will be on the hunt again for someone who has enough training to know how to help me. Does anyone know what helps besides Potassium? You have to be careful with that because too much of it can cause other problems and you don't want too high a Potassium count in your system. Such a dilemma.
Would you believe it when I tell you that I have had this abdominal spasm on and off for about 20 years? It involves my side/flank muscles and back muscles as well!! It's hell on earth when I have a bad episode. I noticed the person who said it is worse when you're constipated, and that has been my experience also. Right now it's been happening for the last five days ever since I last vacuumed the living room and dining room. That's all I did. Yesterday afternoon I even went to Emergency but the doc there didn't help and sent me home with Tylenol #3 and some Naprosyn. I need a strong muscle relaxant, not an anti-inflammatory! So, tomorrow I will be on the hunt again for someone who has enough training to know how to help me. Does anyone know what helps besides Potassium? You have to be careful with that because too much of it can cause other problems and you don't want too high a Potassium count in your system. Such a dilemma.
I gave birth to my one and only child when I was 35. About a year later, these spasms started happening. They were so bad I could barely breathe. I could un-knot the muscle by laying down and stretching out the muscle. I would then make a fist and work my knuckles into the muscle. I would feel the muscle un-knot and I would be fine. I did this for about five years. I then lost 30 pounds and starting working out 3x a week. I worked my total body and got in really good shape--the spasms went away completely for years. I then (due to an injury) had to stop working out and gained about 20 pounds. I was out of shape and the spasms started coming back --though not as bad. I am now dieting and working out again---I'm sure I will get rid of the spasms once I am back in shape.
I have abdominal spasms and just called my rheum dr to find out what I can do. I also have fibromyalgia. My dr. just said to do abdominal stretches. She said she hasn't heard of this before with fibro pts. I have read many posts from pts with fibro and some have the same problem. The last time it came on which is always unexpectedly, I wanted to call an ambulance. I begun doing breathing( like in labor) and kneading the area. It did finally subside. I wish there were a solution to never having this to begin with. You are not alone.
I have a similar problem when bending over or straightening quickly, or even twisting my torso to reach something. It is in my upper left ab close to my ribs, and it feels like something spasming or twisting up inside. I have had a bulge when it happens, and it is extremely painful. Doesn't last very long but always scares me, I worry that my intestines are twisting up. No help from the doc, she feels it could be a separation of the abdominal midline from pregnancy, but I keep saying that it is over to the left. Any new developments for you?
Hi Jbeaugh, did you ever get a final diagnosis of your symptoms and a cure? I have been experiencing similar symptoms for the past 4 years. I get random cramping in my stomach that leaves me in excruciating pain and hospitalised once. All tests came back fine and doctors are baffled by it. The pain makes me vomit and feel close to fainting and is so debilitating as it can happen day or night and with no warning. Any info on what you found out regarding your symptoms would be appreciated. Thanks
I have had the same problem on and off for about 4 years now after lifting a heavy dining room table...the pain is awful! I had this happen today to me at work...I quickly took an aspirin and it took the pain away within 5 minutes. I am going to make sure that I have that with me at all times now because the pain is so disabiling...the aspirin seemed to work wonders!
I've have these same intense and excruciating abdominal muscle cramps for a couple of years. They seemed to be getting worse, would come at different spots up and down the abdomen, either side, hit and go, only to repeat several times before they finally calmed. Tried everything, much of what I read here. Mostly set off when doing anything that involved bending forward, be it exercise or just putting on a sock. Hit several times a day. Unbearably painful!
Had all the usual tests: normal; no imbalances, hernia, etc etc. Lots of water, no deficiencies. Had muscle separation, but he insisted that was not the cause.
Finally, my doctor said that SOME people find help by taking TONIC WATER. Anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But at this point I was willing to try anything. He said to start with 4 to 6 oz, one to two times a day (morning and evening). The smaller amount helped me in 2 days, but I still had some painful spasms every day, though not quite as intense or long-lasting.
Finally worked up to 3 ounces twice a day, and it's kept them at bay, about 90% gone, unless I am not careful to back off immediately if I overdo one of the positions that brings it on. Even then, it will back off, whereas before I would have been in for a horribly painful session, regardless of whatever I did.
PLEASE NOTE: the regular cheapo tonic water has either sugar or high fructose corn syrup. HORRIBLE for health. So I chose Schweppes Diet Tonic water; sure, it has saccarine, but better that debilitating muscle cramps many times a day for life!!! I measure out my doses into a mug, add a little squirt of liquid stevia and about 6 ounces of water (tonic water is quite bitter alone!) and sip it slowly til gone. Repeat in the early evening. (kind of like having a gin n tonic, minus the gin, ha ha)
Believe me: my body tells me within several HOURS if I miss a dose, with spasms!!! So, it is not a "cure", but it does calm down the muscles. My doctor said it is the QUININE in the tonic water that does it, for some people (He said it doesn't work for everyone, unfortunately). They do make quinine prescription tablets, but only one company holds the patent now, and it's ridiculously expensive.
So, talk to your doc, and if approved, try tonic water. It helped me, it might help you.
I hope this gives relief to any fellow muscle spasm sufferers!
I've also been experiencing the muscle spasms in my abdominals. A couple of things I've noted from the posts:
1. Many people are active runners or otherwise exercise regularly
2. Some people have had trauma to their abdominals
3. The event comes on after some level of exercise
In my case, the symptoms started appearing a few months after I had a weird experience with my abdominals. Out of the blue they started spasming in waves like contractions over a 6-8 hr period. I was actually hospitalized. Lots of tests were run and nothing was discovered. My ER doctor friend says he has seen this, usually with women. No cause is typically found. I first experienced the charlie horse when I tried to do crunches right after running. I now don't do ab work until well after I do cardio. That seems to help. Maybe doing in the very beginning of a work out is even better. The magnesium might help also, but I had recent blood work and all levels were good. Of course drinking water is always good, but I'm also thinking that this is probably not a major culprit because most people have been regular exercisers and probably have o.k. habits with water drinking. Or, even if they don't, it doesn't really explain why the charlie horses just start out of nowhere. It almost seems that once your body grooves a spasm response, it just keeps happening. We probably just need to be extra careful about when we do the ab work. If you do early in workout and low reps, all the muscles will be less tired and you'll be less likely to be dehydrated. I'm hoping by trying this I can retrain my body's response.
Has anyone actually tried the magnesium supplements and have they helped?
I am convinced it is related to scar tissue. I never had this problem until I had abdominal surgery. I first had surgery in my lower left groin area. The cramping occurs in the exact area of my surgical scar; if I move a certain way, I get a SEVERE charlie horse type muscle spasm in that area. I can hardly move or breathe. A few years later I had surgery on my right side, upper quadrant area, and now I get the same muscle spasm there too. Same exact thing, when I move a certain way. All my labs are normal.
Thanks, I will try it. Soda stream has a tonic water flavor. I'll check it out to see if quinine is an ingredient. I have had this similar problem for over 50 years. IBS is the fuzzy conclusion. I just know it hurts, is stressful and scary.
Can you obtain quinine from other sources besides a prescription? Maybe worth looking into
I'm going to share my own theory part A and part B which I think are behind the infamous stomach cramp phenomena that I came up with all on my own. I have these stomach cramp problems too; ESPECIALLY when I'm doing my declines and I would like to be rid of them for good.
So, when my stomach cramps of course I stop the set right on the spot. One thing I've noticed is that when it does happen I'm not breathing properly. My theory A is that you are not breathing properly. Now, I'll be doing great at trying hard and making sure to get a solid rep so that I can feel my abdominals squeeze; but often times when I cramp up I'm not breathing and by breathe I mean inhaling and exhaling at the right time. What I do is I will be holding my breathe trying as hard as I can to finish the rep and I think I've been making the same mistake for years. Who know's that when your doing the bench press or any kind of workout that you inhale while working the negative, or going down, and exhale when working the positive, when coming up? If you breathe properly your abs won't feel as strong as they do when your holding your breath. If you breathe properly your muscles will get a higher quality workout and the cramps won't happen, period. Also if you breathe properly your abdominals will literally feel and be weaker; but they will get stronger over time until you eventually won't have the cramping issue any more. This is theory A; which is the first part of my stomach cramp theory.
This is part B of my stomach cramping theory and is to be combined, used in conjunction and as a part of theory A. Stomach cramp theory B is that the stomach cramping issue is partially a cosmetics/ego issue. Now, how many people guys/girls like having their belly stick out in public while wearing a pair of jeans or while they're at the beach shirtless/in bikini's? Nobody! My second theory is that because people want to appear more fit they suck their stomachs in in public to fit into that pair of jeans or when they're at the beach in their swimming clothes. Now, when you suck in your stomach your muscles have to suck in too so that your belly can appear flat while it is sucked in. My theory is simply that people do it so often that it actually weakens and deforms their abdominal muscles. Sucking in your belly weakens your abs in such a way that when you go to do your sit ups that not only are you not breathing properly in good form; but your stomach is accustomed to being sucked in, deformed from being sucked in and thereby weakened from being repeatedly sucking in your stomach day after day.
Part A and B combined. If you don't suck in your stomach under any circumstances ever again and breathe or inhale and exhale properly when performing your ab exercises I believe that you will have fewer and fewer stomach cramps over time and that your abdominals will be continually strengthened until you no longer have the cramps when working out. This means sacrificing looking good until you actually have the real deal flat stomach and taking the time to always be conscious that you are inhaling and exhaling when working out. If you build the discipline to be able to remember to inhale and exhale properly and sacrifice the superficial flat stomach until you have the real deal then my theory is simply that you will not have the stomach cramps, period. In conclusion and in my opinion in order to solve the riddle you must sacrifice sucking in your stomach and you must begin to discipline yourself in breathing in order to not cramp up.
I know that was a lot! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.
Hi Everyone - I am an official member of the club too! After 12 years of dealing with this so called rib muscle cramping, I beleive mine was brougt on by an excruciating delivery of my daughter. I pushed for over 2 hours....and I am almost certain some kind of muscular damage was done at that time. It was soon after my delivery that I started getting these awful spasms/cramps in my rib cage muscels when I would bend over for anything. It was any motion that mimmiced an ab "crunch". It happened regularly for a while, and then when I got back into the gym to start working out again regularly, that is when they really got bad any with any kind of ab work. I would immeidately have to stop what I was doing, lay flat, extend my arm, and use my other hand to try and massage the cramp out. Of course, I looked like a fruit cake to everyone else as they didn't understand what I was going through.
My journey led me to seek Physical Therapy for a few months. The PT thought I was something of a phenomenon as he had never seen anything like it. He gave those exercises to do, that help open/expand the rib cage. Of course they helped as long as I kept up with them, but the cramps have never gone away. I have also read and educated myself about how crunches are not even the best way or proper way to work out your abs. Plank is the best! I can do plank fairly well, but if I really push myself, the cramps start. It's just about knowing your body and what your limits are. Good luck to all.
Wow- I have a similar remedy when the spasms hit: I sort of hang from a door frame by hooking my fingers over the trim and stretching. I'm so happy to have found this tread- I thought I was the only one. No help from doctors either....
years and years of suffering ,sit ups ,sneezing,laughing(maybe the worst),putting on socks,swimming(very bad),had to give up martial arts you name it anything could cause a plethora of spasms like movements in my abdominal region and back.On May 13 2012 I started taking a supplement called Tangy Tangerine(I never buy these types of things,a friend gave it to me because sleeping problems and a lack of energy).On May 19 2012 I had an ex-employee set me up for a home invasion,was struck twice in the face/skull with a hatchet ,lost a lot of blood but fought my way out of house(2 guys).When I went to the hospital I told the nurses of my condition and expected a spasm for hours ,I did not have a spasm for four days(which the nurses recorded).when I returned home I started taking Tang Tangerine again and my spasms were greatly reduced.I still have a spasm now and then,but are much less painful and much shorter in duration.most often occurs when doing any sit up type of movement. Good luck I lived in hell for years
I have 3 children, I use to do a lot of stomach crunches when I was younger until 10 yrs ago, I went to a local yoga class, and all I did was touch my toes and my stomach locked the first time , it was scary everyone thought I was having a heart attack ! As I stood up slowly doing deep breaths it went down. Since then every time I bend wrongly ( without bending at the knee) sometimes when I sneeze or constipated !! It does not happen that often but I panic when it happens. I had a stomach camera and found I had pollups which were non cancer but caused by too much stomach acid. So if I eat anything too fattening ,or acidy my stomach bloats and cramps. So I have to be careful what I eat ! I have Nexium tablets plus I drink warm lemon water which helps plus I take magnesium tablets after a big meal so I am not constipated . Someone told me to drink Aloe Vera which helps the stomach too !
Based on all the comments, it's not the same problem everyone is having. There are some women who have it post child birth, some that are just out of shape trying to get back in shape too intensely, and some that are in good shape but suddenly start having it out of the blue.
I myself had it a few times, the one I had yesterday was really bad, hence I'm here being relieved knowing I'm not the only one.
One thing I did notice, and a few of you already mentioned it - when it happens, try to gently massage it... I know it hurts like hell and you don't want to move or touch it, but for me, it helped to get it away. I was back in able to move around in 10-15 minutes. feel the tense spot with your hand and massage it lightly and you'll feel how the tissue softens under your fingers and pain eases a bit.
I too, will try to drink more water, electrolytes and up my potassium intake, even though I drank a whole bottle of gatorade while exercising yesterday... I guess, it wasn't enough.
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