T Nation

Ab Strain or Worse?


This has got to be one of the weirdest ones, but here it goes:

Over the course of the past 2 years (I'm 39) I have had a strange thing happen to me about 4-5 times. When I sneeze strongly while sitting down, I sometimes get a painful cramp running across my lower abdomen. All I can do is grin and bear it until the muscle releases. The area is little tender for the rest of the day.

It happened again yesterday and I couldn't do ab work, although it didn't interfere with other exercises. Today I was able to do decline bench sit-ups and leg raises without discomfort.

As a bit of background I have had two surgeries to remove sections of my small bowel, so I have a couple of zippers on by belly. One runs vertically from a few inches above my navel to just below it (~7")and the other running horizontally near where my appendix used to be (~6"). Because of this I am not very symetrical muscle-wise, but I wonder if the scarring has left me succeptible to the strains.

Anything serious? Thanks in advance.


I had an ab cramp once or twice in the gym. It hurt like a mofo and I had to walk around funny and try to stretch it out... not fun.

I can't remember off the top of my head, but is it a deficiency in magnesium that can cause cramping? You may want to try making sure you are getting enough of whatever it is, it might help.


I think it is potassium. I get this form time to time, but usually from asking my lower abs to do some real work. (leg lift ab crunches, anyone?)


I guess I was being a bit of a spaz thinking it was anything but a minor thing. No hernia or anything, right?


possibly post surgical adhesion of the muscle?

Do you ever do any trunk rotations or arches to stretch the abs?
Might help if that is the culprit.
Probably wouldn't hurt anyways.


I will try that out. Thanks!