Pain in the middle and low back, abdominal pain, heartburn, and indigestion can indicate rectus abdominis muscle dysfunction. Pain can occur in one area or multiple areas.
You use the rectus abdominis to bend over and straighten the trunk. It also helps with breathing.
What pain and symptoms are associated with the rectus abdominis?
- Pain that runs horizontal across the mid back under the shoulder blade
- Pain that runs horizontal across the low back and or hips
- Pain around the sternum between the breasts (not shown)
- Pain in the low abdomen
- Feeling bloated
- Heartburn and indigestion
Where is the rectus abdominis muscle located?
The rectus abdominis muscle attaches to the pubis bone traveling up to connect to the xiphoid process of the sternum and the 5th, 6th, and 7th ribs.
What movements does the rectus abdominis muscle control?
- Bending over
- Assists with breathing
Activities that cause rectus abdominis pain and symptoms:
- Over exercising muscles (sit-ups and leg-ups)
- Shallow breathing
- Chronic coughing
- Sitting for long periods of time
- Sitting in a twisted position
- Abdominal surgery
- Scars from abdominal surgery
- Chronic Constipation
- Carrying a heavy backpack
Interesting facts about the rectus abdominis:
- The rectus abdominis muscle extends from ribs below the breasts to the top of the pubic bone without attaching to bone. The horizontal bands of connective tissue called tendinous intersections help the muscle maintain proper length.
- The abdominal muscles can cause a range of symptoms that can be worrisome and mimic other medical conditions such as appendicitis, gallbladder disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, endometriosis, and urinary incontinence. Lingering or sudden onset abdominal pain should be checked out by a physician.
Clinical diagnoses to which the rectus abdominis muscle symptoms may contribute:
- Painful rib syndrome
- Gallbladder disorder
- Urinary tract disease
- Hiatal hernia
- Inguinal hernia
- Ovarian cyst
- Pelvic pain
- Degenerative disc disease
Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the rectus abdominis:
Satellite Trigger Points: External and Internal Obliques, Tranversus Abdominis, Iliocostalis Thoracics and lumborum, Longissimus thoracis, Iliopsoas
Associated Organ Systems: Digestive, Genitourinary, and Reproductive Systems
For more information see: Rectus Abdominis Anatomy
Help With Rectus Abdominis Pain
If you have ongoing pain in the abdominal area, you should see a doctor. Pain in the abdominal area can be a symptom of many maladies, some of which are life-threatening. If you have been to a physician and they cannot find the source of pain, then consider the suggestion below.