When we see an athlete with a visible “six pack” in the abdomen, we know that she or he has strong abdominal muscles and the body core is probably functioning well. That “six pack” muscle is also known as the rectus abdominus. It is the top layer of stomach muscle and is an important part of the abdominal wall.
At its lowest point the rectus connects to the pelvis, and many rectus strains and injuries occur in that area. So, when the rectus muscle is injured, pain is often felt in the front of the groin and down to the inner thigh. However, rectus pain can also be felt in the upper and lower back, or even in the testicles. Symptoms sometimes include heartburn, indigestion and bloating.
The rectus can be injured in many ways, ranging from over-exercising to chronic coughing or sitting for extended periods. Treatment usually starts with rest and anti-inflammatory medication, followed by physical therapy that usually includes core strengthening exercises. Some rectus injuries need steroid injections. Dr. Bharam considers surgery only in cases of advanced abdominal rectus injuries.