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Trigger Point Therapy - Rectus Abdominis Stretch

Posted by Judith Winer on

This muscle decelerates trunk extension through eccentric action. It is worth noting that the full range of motion cannot be achieved with conventional sit-ups performed on the floor, which can contribute to muscle imbalances and neuromuscular inefficiency of the core.

The rectus abdominis has two distinct pain patterns: one at the level of the xiphoid process, spreading bilaterally across the middle back, and the other at the level between the umbilicus and the inguinal ligament, spreading pain into the sacroiliac joint and lower back.

Rectus abdominis myofascial trigger points can also cause chest pain, heartburn, belching, diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, and appendicitis (McBurney’s point).

Sit on a Swiss ball and slowly roll the ball forward while leaning back. Allow your back and shoulders to rest on the ball and your arms to hang to each side.


Primary muscles: External and internal intercostals. External and internal obliques. Transversus abdominis. Rectus abdominis.
Secondary muscles: Pectoralis major and minor.


Abdominal muscle strain. Chest strain. Pectoral muscle insertion inflammation.


For most people who spend their day in a seated position, (office workers, drivers, etc.) the muscles in the front of the body can become extremely tight and inflexible. Exercise caution when performing this stretch for the first time and allow plenty of rest time between each repetition.

The best thing to do if you are in pain, is to visit your doctor or an experienced manual therapist. The tips and advice contained in these pages are not an alternative to seeking professional medical advice. 


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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 





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