Any time you strain a muscle, it’s painful and it will impact your day-to-day life, but that’s especially true when it’s a core muscle. Your obliques are part of your abdominal muscles between your pelvis and ribs, making up your waist. When you’re dealing with a strained oblique, seemingly the only thing that you can do without feeling the pain from that strain is dream about not being injured.
Oblique muscle strains are caused when you overstretch the area beyond its limits causing the muscle fibers to tear. They’re commonly caused by trauma from sports, overtraining in the gym (too many sit ups!), or can even be caused by blunt trauma from sports like martial arts or boxing.
You never realize how much you use a certain muscle or muscle group until you’ve injured it and if you have strained your oblique, you’ll learn quickly how important your core muscles are to your daily life. Let’s take a look at how you can start to heal and repair the damage.
1. Get a FREE Injury Assessment
If you don’t know what your injury is, how severe it is, or what the best next steps are for your recovery, then you can’t accurately or efficiently recover from your injury. Our team of injury specialists can help by providing customized suggestions and tips to help you recover from your specific injury…for free! Our Injury Assessment is always free and delivered directly to your email inbox. The first step to recovery is getting help and we’re here to do just that! Get your free Injury Assessment now!
2. Reduce the Swelling
Once you’ve received your injury assessment, you’ll have some customized suggestions based on the severity of your injury, your age, and needs, but a common thread across all injury treatments is to eliminate swelling as quickly as possible. This is where the R.I.C.E. treatment methodology comes into play. R.I.C.E. is an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Each of these tactics work to eliminate swelling. We also recommend an anti-inflammatory. This part of your recovery is likely immediately following injuring yourself. Take care to eliminate your swelling as quickly as possible so that you can move on to actually recovering.
3. Improve Circulation
As we talked about in our 5 Injury Treatment Mistakes That You’re Probably Making blog post, circulation is key to any injury recovery. Once the swelling has gone away, it’s time to work on improving your blood flow in order to eliminate toxins and waste and to deliver necessary nutrients to the injured area to promote and enhance your body’s natural healing ability.
Things that we recommend in order to improve blood flow include using heat on the injured area, avoiding restrictive clothing or wrapping which may cut off blood flow, and all-natural recovery products such as the QiVantage Therapeutic Recovery Cream and Injury Treatment Kits. Our injury and recovery line are all designed around the principle of supercharging your body’s natural ability to repair itself and it all comes back to improved circulation.
4. Stabilize the Area
In order to help with the pain of your oblique strain, you can use kinesiology tape to help reduce range of motion, stabilize the area, and also promote recovery. Dr. Sebastian Gonzalez with P2 Sports Care recommended Leukotape for an oblique strain as it’s more resistant to stretching than other options like Rock Tape and KT Tape. Stability and any sort of kinesiology tape is really meant to help you get through your day and help you prevent further damage, not necessarily as a treatment. We all have to continue living our lives with an injury though, right?
5. Stretching & Strengthening
Once your pain level has dramatically dropped and you’re able to go about your day without the need for any sort of additional stability or kinesiology tape, you can begin stretching and strengthening your obliques.
Of course, as soon as you have any pain, stop what you’re doing or immediately lower the weight or output level. You are most vulnerable to a relapse and re-injury at this point in your recovery because you feel good enough to be back in the gym, but you’ve got to remember that you’re not yet at 100%. Take it slow and work back up to your normal weight, routine, and intensity.
And if the injury was originally caused by overworking in the gym, be sure not to repeat the same mistake. You’re not going to develop a six pack in one workout so doing hundreds of situps at one time isn’t necessary. Don’t push past the pain, you should be feeling a good burn in your muscles, but not pain. Listen to your body!
PRO TIP: Be sure to work both sides of your obliques. Don’t just focus on the injured side. Neglecting the other side can easily result in an injury to the healthy oblique!
Injury recovery is always a frustrating process, but by following these steps and the recommendations in a customized injury assessment, you can cut your recovery time down substantially and get back to 100% quickly. We also recommend you take advantage of our free Road to Recovery infographic with steps and timing for each stage in your recovery journey! Download now!