Lower Abdominal Pain After Exercise – A Complete Guide
With regular exercise and hard training, it is common that you feel sore and fatigued. However, if you are experiencing pain after exercise anywhere in the body, that is cause for concern.
Lower abdominal pain after exercise is common among runners, cyclists, and even after weight training. Although, it doesn’t mean it is completely normal. So, what causes abdominal pain after exercise? And is it dangerous?
In this article, we discuss why you might experience lower abdominal pain after exercise and pain in and around the abdominals post-workout. So, keep reading if this is something you have dealt with after exercise.
Exercise Induced Abdominal Pain – What is it?
Before we discuss abdominal pain after exercising, we first need to discuss exercise-induced abdominal pain as this is related to what you may feel after training.
Even though exercise-induced abdominal pain is a common occurrence among fitness enthusiasts, it is often mistaken for stitch. It is well known in many sporting activities. However, it is most prominent in exercises or activities that involve torso movement.
It is a localized pain that is usually found within the lateral side of the mid-abdomen. Although sometimes it can occur in other parts of the abdomen as well, it is rather uncommon.
Even though well-trained athletes are less likely to get it, they are not immune from the condition. However, generally the better trained you are, the less likely you are to experience it.
So, what does exercise-induced abdominal pain have to do with lower abdominal pain after exercise?
The discomfort (sharp pain, stabbing feeling, and cramping) usually continues after you have finished your exercise. This often causes pain in the lower abdominal region for some time.
However, this is not the only cause of lower ab pain after exercise. So, if you want to learn more keep reading.
Lower Abdominal Pain After Exercise? Complete Guide
Lower abdominal pain after exercise can be caused by many things. Stitch (exercise-induced) is a relatively normal symptom. However, the most common theory is behind this is the increased blood flow to the liver and spleen.
During intense workouts that work the torso, you may find that internal organs have been pulling down on your diaphragm during exercise. Leaving you feeling discomfort and sometimes pain in the abs after exercise. However, for women, it may be a different story.
Menstrual cramps have been also shown to cause abdominal pain, especially in the lower abdominal region after exercise. It can also be a sign of underlying problems, such as:
– Gastrointestinal issues
– Reproductive issues
For most people though lower abdominal pain is usually caused by overreaching during a workout. that means overworking the abdominal muscles during a weight training session, or a hard interval running workout. This often leaves the person with a feeling of tightness, cramping, or slight discomfort. However, this usually passes within a few hours after finishing the workout.
Other causes are repetitive motion (running, rowing) are other factors to consider. However, if you are experiencing this more often than not, it is important to seek professional help as this may be a more complicated issue.
Pain in lower right abdomen after exercise
For some people, the most common place they feel pain after a workout is in the lower right abdomen. Pain in the lower right abdomen after exercise is usually caused by the smaller muscles around your ribs expanding during a workout. This often causes a cramping feeling during exercise that continues after you have finished training.
Another cause of lower right side abdomen pain after exercise is caused by dehydration. This is generally caused by exertion and lack of fluids.
However, pain on the right side of the abdomen is usually not serious. And for most people, it may only end up only being a sign of built-up gas in the intestines.
While there are many causes of pain in the lower right abdomen after exercise, the main thing is to rest until it subsides. Generally, the discomfort will pass in a few hours.
Lower Abdominal Pain After exercise Treatment
No matter if you experience lower abdominal pain in the right or left side after exercise, it is usually harmless. It is generally caused by some of the factors we have mentioned in this article.
However, there are ways to prevent this from happening and some of these include:
– Eating an hour or more before working out
– Lowering the intensity of the workout during menstruation
– Hydrating before, during, and after exercising
– Not overreaching during a workout
– Slowly build up any workouts that focus on the abdominal muscles
If you still experience lower abdominal pain after exercise you may have overworked the abdominals and a few days rest should allow enough recovery. Alternatively, try doing some abdominal stretches after your workout. It can help relieve any tightness you may feel and help to relax the muscles.
To do an abdominal stretch follow the instructions below:
1. Start on your hands and knees
2. Tuck your head downward and arch your back
3. Extend the neck upwards and drop your belly
4. Hold for 20-30 seconds
5. Return to the starting position
Repeat the above stretch 3 to 4 times after each training session.
Another good stretch for the abdominal muscles is the ab side stretch.
1. Start by standing up straight
2. Raise your left arm up in the air with your right arm by your side.
3. Slowly lean over to your right
4. While leaning over let your right arm side down your side
5. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
6. Slowly return to the standing position and swap sides
7. Repeat the stretch but his time raising your right arm in the air.
Both of the above exercises can be performed both before and after your training. Alternatively, there are many other abdominal stretches you can perform before and after working out.
Generally, most people have nothing to worry about if they feel a slight discomfort in their abdominals after training. However, if this pain or discomfort is a reoccurring thing, speak to your local doctor or physiotherapist. They will find out if it is something of concern.