The obliques are a muscle group located in your abdomen. They are sometimes known as love handles. Oblique muscles strain can happen when our bodies are overexerted or used without sufficient care. Developing a healthy workout regimen and lifestyle will support these muscles and prevent them from being strained.
Anatomy of Oblique Muscles
The oblique muscles are located on the sides of the abdomen. There are two types of oblique muscles, the internal oblique muscles and the external oblique muscles. The internal muscles served two functions: the first is to help the body exhale, and the second is to help the body rotate from side to side. The external muscle also helps rotate the body from side to side. These muscles are also what connects the rib cage to the pelvic bone.
External oblique muscle strain is a common injury in athletes, such as baseball pitchers, who turn their body vigorously and often. Internal muscle strain may also be present. Athletes are not the only ones who are at risk of oblique muscle strain, as anyone who turn their body without proper care may potentially harm themselves as well. Because of that fact, it is important to learn how to properly care for the body.
How to Prevent Oblique Muscle Strain
The best way to prevent strain to the muscles is to strengthen them through healthy exercise regimens. The obliques allow our body to rotate from side to side, bend to the side, and bend backwards and forward. These muscles can be developed with a variety of exercises. One of the healthiest styles of exercise is yoga. A few poses will help develop the durability of the obliques.
1. Navasana, or the boat pose, is a simple floor yoga that can help develop the core. While sitting on the ground, lift up your legs and back. Keep them straight and allow them to meet at your bottom at a perpendicular angle. Your toes will be pointing upwards and your face will be forward. Your body should be in the shape of a “V”.
2. Prasarita, or the wide legged forward bend, is a standing yoga that helps develop your obliques as well. By spreading your legs about double the shoulder width apart, you allow pelvic muscles, which are connected to your obliques, to establish a firm foundation for your exercise. Next, lean forward as though trying to put the top of your head to the floor. Keep your back as straight as possible as you do so.
3. Trikonasana, of triangle pose, is designed to help your body bend to the side and to rotate as well. Allow one foot to point to the side and stretch your leg to the side so that your legs make a triangle. Place your hand onto the floor or onto your ankle and lean toward your foot. Keep your back straight. A triangle should form between your ankle, hip, and armpit. This will help your body in a wide variety of ways.
The Causes of Oblique Muscle Strain
Muscle strain is caused because the muscles are not developed enough when they are overexerted. On the other hand, strain may be caused because the muscles are not given time to recuperate after strenuous exercise. Oblique muscles strain is caused by forceful twisting or bending at the wait. It can also be caused by injury or trauma. What follows is a list of common causes for oblique muscle strain.
1. Throwing objects, especially common in athletes, may lead to strain caused by repetition. Professional athletes may also damage their muscles due to sudden and extreme overexertion.
2. Torsion, commonly caused by rowing or using ground tools, may also lead to strain. Long distance rowers or field workers may find that they experience chronic pain in their obliques. This is a sign to give your body time to relax.
3. Lifting objects may lead to problems if proper techniques are not used. Bend at the knees, not at the waste, as the old adage goes.
4. Poor posture, especially for those who slouch throughout the day, may cause muscles to become weak. This may make it easier for the oblique muscles to be strained during other activities.
5. Chronic coughing make cause the muscles to become strained to due overexertion. Oblique muscles may not be given enough time to rest and therefore damage may occur if they are not cared for.
6. Trauma, such as surgery scars, may cause the muscles to be weak and unsuitable for exercise. If you have abdominal scarring, then take great care with your body.
Warning Signs of Oblique Muscle Strain
1. Stiffness in muscles is a sign that your body is reaching a point where damage may occur. Exercising with stiff muscles may lead to the tearing of the muscles fibers. This may lead to more serious or permanent damage.
2. Pain is a sign that you may have already damaged your muscles. Though it may simply be a sign that your body needs to rest. If you find that you are experiences pain in your muscles, then immediately stop exerting yourself.
3. Is strain is severe, then you may notice swelling or weakness of your muscles. They may feel tender to the touch and you may even notice bruising. If you find that breathing, coughing or eating causes you pain, then you may want to speak with a doctor.
Treating Oblique Muscle Strain
1. As always, it is best to speak with a medical professional. They will be able to determine exactly what the cause of your strain and pain is. Follow their orders and you will recover quickly.
2. Many people do not like to see doctors, so the next best option is to relax, ice, and compress the offending area. Lay down with an ice pack wrapped around your obliques. If you need to get up, then move carefully and mindfully.
3. Share and learn from members of our community. By sharing your experiences and insights, you will be able to help people like yourself who are suffering from oblique muscles strain.