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Pain and Symptoms Associated With the External Oblique Muscles

The obliques are the muscles that are known as the waist muscles. The oblique muscles connect the ribs, top of the hip bone, fascia of the abdominals and lower back. Oblique muscles control bending physical activities such as bending over, twisting the torso, side bending and they also assist with breathing.

Oblique Muscles Causes and Symptomsabdominals

Pain in the side of the waist area, low abs and pelvis can be caused by the oblique muscles. Pain can also occur in the following areas:

  • Groin area

  • Testicles

  • Bladder

Activities such rowing, raking leaves, chronic or persistent coughing, lifting heavy loads, using shovels or pitchforks and even sitting for long periods of time can bring on muscle pain in the external obliques. Injury in the oblique muscles can also contribute to burning and discomfort in the urinary tract, bladder and can contribute to incontinence in some individuals. Prompt medical attention and care should be received if patient is suffering from any of these symptoms. A full medical evaluation needs to be completed to rule out underlying medical conditions.

Patients should note that pain and symptoms of the oblique muscles imitates many acute and chronic conditions, some can be life-threatening. It is important that if pain and symptoms continue that a medical evaluation be performed to rule out a serious medical condition.

Organ systems affected by oblique muscles include the digestive system, urinary system and reproductive system.

Treatment for External Oblique Muscle Pain

Because abdomen, groin, and testicular pain can be caused by serious medical conditions, it is important to consult with a physical therapist or doctor before using supports or braces. Brace supports can hide symptoms that need prompt medical attention. Other treatment available to individuals suffering from external (and internal) oblique muscle pain:

  • Cold gel therapy to reduce muscle strain

  • Hot cold packs for abdominal and rib pain

  • Rib support brace for women

More Information

Read more on our main website about the obliques and how core activation can improve pain in the obliques here:

Call ActiveCare Physical Therapy in NYC

Physical therapy will help you properly recover from external oblique pain. If you or a loved one is experiencing pain in the external obliques during regular activities, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best physical therapist in NYC.

6 Responses to Pain and Symptoms Associated With the External Oblique Muscles

  1. My pain is on my right side i think internal oblique
    My question is why is it more painful when lying down
    Than standing and it seems to be getting worse as time gose on
    It’s only been 1 week i slipped on ice
    no workouts
    I dont know take pain meds

    • I must admit I feel this too. Laying down made it feel much worse, yet one of the treatments is rest! Hard to do when you can’t get comfortable.

  2. Good afternoon,
    I have had severe right flank pain for almost 6 weeks. It started the day after running hill sprints (which I have done many times before), and initially it was presenting itself as low right back pain, similar to a weight workout low back strain.
    It was severe enough that my wife drove me to the ER (July 7th), where a CT scan was done of my abdomen and pelvis. All organs were normal, no kidney stones present, and unfortunately, no conclusive evidence for the pain.
    Fast-forward to yesterday (August 15th), another ER visit due to intensifying pain while standing. A CT scan with contrast showed nothing. No hernia, no mass, no infection, nothing out of the ordinary. And they had no idea why I was having such intense pain with nothing showing on my scans.
    I also have numbness on the outside of my right flank, which has been numb since July. I’ve brought this up to multiple medical personnel, and they just shake their heads and raise there arms in the “I don’t know” gesture.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Marc D

  3. The urination issue was quite extreme for me. After a serious bout of vomiting I strained my internal/external obliques and the full feeling in my bladder and burning during urination made me think I had a UTI. It’s been 6 days and the pain has gone from a 10 to a 5, still having urine issues, but I think it’s going to be weeks before I start to feel even a semblance of normal!

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