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Rectus Abdominis Muscle: Mid To Low Back, Abdomen, Heartburn,Testicular Pain

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
  • Childbirth
  • 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
  • Costochondritis
  • Stenosis
  • Appendicitis
  • Ulcer
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Gallbladder disorder
  • Colic
  • Constipation
  • Urinary tract disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diverticulosis
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Pelvic pain
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Stenosis

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.

Trigger Point Self-Treatment For The Rectus Abdominis

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body.
Do you know that muscle 'knots' or other dysfunction in the rectus abdominis muscle can cause bands of pain in the mid-back and or  buttocks? This can also cause pain in the pelvis area and contribute to heartburn and indigestion.
The rectus abdominis can contribute to pain in the abdominal area and also in the upper and lower back. If you are experiencing pain in these areas and doctors cannot find a cause 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.  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.  If you suffer from unresolved abdominal pain and symptoms associated with the rectus abdominis 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 in 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.

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