A few weeks ago a 30 year old male came to the clinic with sharp pain in this left abdominal region. The pain began 2 months ago, after he was doing deadlifts and abdominal incline crunches at the gym.

Distressed by the intensity of the pain he went straight to the Doctor, who believed that he had caused a hernia.

He was told to get an ultrasound on the region to confirm the existence of the hernia. The ultrasound was negative and showed no hernia or any damage to the soft tissue. He was then given some pain relief and told to rest until the pain disappeared.

He waited patiently for the pain to subside, but after two weeks with no change he was beginning to get worried again. He returned to the Doctor who sent him for another ultrasound, believing it must have been missed on the first.

Again the ultrasound was negative, and the doctor told him that he would refer him to a surgeon who specialised in abdominal pain.

A friend of his recommended he see a Myotherapist just to get another view point, prior to seeing the surgeon. After I discussed the specific exercises he had done in the gym, and checked some specific hip and back movements, we found one particular muscle was implicated in all of his painful movements. On palpation of this muscle it instantly reproduced his pain.

During his intense gym workout he had managed to activate a trigger point in the muscle. A trigger point is a hyper irritable spot in the muscle that can cause intense pain and weakness. Unfortunately these spots don’t show up on ultrasound, so it had been missed by the doctor.

Trigger points are quite easy to treat with massage and direct pressure and after one consultation we retested the movements that caused the sharpness and they were now pain free. Needless to say he was quite pleased that he didn’t need to see the surgeon!

By Myotherapist Lani GuskichElite Myotherapy Hernia case study