What pain and symptoms are associated with the external and internal oblique muscles?
- Pain in the side, in the waist area
- Pain in the groin area
- Pain in the low abdomen
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Testicle pain
- Bladder pain and incontinence
- Pain in the pelvis area
Where are the internal and external oblique muscles?
The obliques connect the ribs, top of the hip bone, fascia of the abdominals and lower back. The obliques are the muscles that are often thought of as the waist muscles.
What movements do the obliques muscles control?
- Bending over
- Twisting the torso
- Side bending the torso
- Assists with breathing
Activities that cause obliques muscle pain and symptoms:
- Abdominal scars from surgery
- Over exercising muscles (twisting and side bending exercises)
- Raking leaves
- Lifting using tools like shovels or pitchforks
- Chronic coughing
- Sitting for long periods of time
- Slouching posture
Interesting facts about the obliques muscles:
The oblique muscles can contribute to pain and discomfort in the abdomen and groin area. It can also contribute to burning and discomfort in the urinary tract, bladder and cause incontinence. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, a medical evaluation should be done to rule out underlying medical conditions before seeking therapeutic massage.
Clinical diagnoses to which the oblique muscles symptoms may contribute:
Note: Pain and symptoms of the oblique muscles mimics many acute and chronic conditions, some of which can be life threatening. It is important that symptoms continue a medical evaluation is conducted to rule out what could be serious medical conditions.
- Painful rib syndrome
- Slipped Rib
- Acid Reflux
- Gallbladder Disorder
- Hiatal Hernia
- Inguinal Hernia
- Urinary Incontinence
- Urinary Tract Infection and Disease
- Testicle Pain
- Ovarian Cyst
Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the obliques:
- Serratus Posterior Inferior
- Rectus Abdominis
- Transversus Abdominis
- Gluteus Maximus
- Gluteus Medius
- Quadratus Lumborum
Satellite Trigger Points of the Oblique Muscles:
External Oblique: Iliopsoas, Rectus Abdominis, Tranversus Abdominis, Iliocostalis Thoracics, Iliocostalis Lumborum, Longissimus Thoracis
Internal Oblique: Serratus Anterior, Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis, Adductor Magnus, Pectineus
Organ Systems Affected by Oblique Muscles:
- Digestive System
- Urinary System
- Reproductive System
For detailed anatomy information see: Obliques Anatomy
Help With External and Internal Oblique Muscle Pain
Because abdomen, groin and testicular pain can be caused by serious medical conditions, please visit your doctor before using supports or braces. Supports can often mask symptoms that need attention.
Cold Gel Therapy for Muscle Strain
Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I use it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries. Biofreeze is better than warm therapy gels and creams for recent injury muscle pain as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. Biofreeze is recommended for those who have had a recent muscle injury or sudden onset pain. For relief of pain caused by the oblique muscles, rub Biofreeze from just under the breasts down the front of the body to the pubic bone. Also treat both sides of body from the breast area to the hip bone.
Hot Cold Packs for Abdominal and Rib Pain
SofTouch Large Hot Cold Pack is a large pack that can be used for hot or cold treatment. The pack is large enough to cover the oblique area. The inside of the pack contains a clay like substance that remains soft and pliable so you can mold the pack to your body. The outside of the pack is wrapped with soft suede like material that does not shock the skin when touched. My clients love this pack and it is now the only hot and cold pack that I use in my massage therapy practice.
To treat oblique muscle pain, lay the pack just under the breasts and allow the pack to drape over the sides of the body.
Professionals Choice Comfort Fit Low Back Support Provides Relief From Oblique Muscle Pain By Providing Abdominal Support and Abdominal Compression
I seldom rave about products, but this is one product it would be hard for me to do without! The name Professionals Choice name is well known in horse industry and is highly regarded for their top quality products that work.
The Pro Choice Back Support is my go to for abdominal support and back brace. This brace has helped me more than any other with low back and low abdominal pain. The lumbar pad provides support without the uncomfortable restriction and poking of metal supports. The band is wide, covering the entire lower back. It has an adjustable Velcro front closure along with adjustable Velcro side panels which can be tightened or loosened to provide support and compression. The brace also reflects your body heat back into the muscles, providing warmth to tight sore muscles. For those with recent injuries or flare ups, it is comfortable enough wear all night and will not disrupt your sleep.
The brace is made of closed-cell, limestone-based Neoprene which is extremely durable and resilient. The brace retains it’s shape over years of use and does not absorb moisture. It can be machined washed on the gentle cycle.
I have recommended this brace to many clients and friends with chronic low back pain and every one has commented how much it helps relieve their pain and helps with mobility. As with other back braces, it may not help much with sciatica pain, but it can provide additional support and warmth to low back muscles which may bring some relief. But if you have muscle, tendon or ligament injuries, new or old, I highly recommend that you try this brace!
Sizing: Small and Medium fits waists 22″ – 38″. Large fits waists 24″ – 40″. X-large fits waists 41″ – 50. XX-large fits waists 51″ – 60″.
Self Treatment for External and Internal Oblique Abdominal Pain
Do you know that muscle ‘knots’ in the oblique muscles can contribute to pain throughout the upper and lower abdomen? This pain can also add to breathing difficulty and cause heartburn and indigestion.
If you experiencing a combination of these symptoms, I recommend you purchase Claire Davies The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language. But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain, how to find the trigger point and treat it. He also provides stretching and strengthening exercises for each muscle. If you suffer with unresolved upper and lower abdominal, or groin / testicular pain I highly recommend this book. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. Relieving trigger points throughout the abdominal area have helped many people resolve their pain issues. This book is a must have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.