NYU Langone Medical Center lists possible symptoms of a torn abdominal muscle as stiffness, pain or soreness immediately following a related injury, pain when touching the area, difficulty flexing the abdominal muscles, pain when stretching the area, swelling, bruising and muscle spasms. Abdominal strains or ruptures are commonly caused by excessive exercise, suddenly twisting the body in an improper manner or attempting to lift extremely heavy objects.
Pain associated with the types of discomfort listed above ranges from mild to severe depending on the seriousness of the muscle tear. Mild to moderate pain is usually not indicative of serious trauma. The severity of the damage is graded on a three-point scale. Grade 1 indicates micro-tearing of muscle fibers, grade 2 indicates a partial tearing of muscle fibers, and grade 3 indicates a complete tearing of muscle fibers. Grade 3 is usually accompanied by excruciating pain. NYU Langone Medical Center recommends visiting a physician to assess the level of damage and course of treatment.
According to Sportsinjuryclinic.net, doctors commonly prescribe varying periods of rest and inactivity based on the seriousness of the injury. Other common treatment plans include applying ice or cold packs to the affected area for short periods of time throughout the day, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen to reduce the internal swelling and pain brought about by the injury.