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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 9/21/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Forgive the length of my post. This is hard to least I haven't been able to make anyone understand so far!
I have issues with a muscle. I don't know what is wrong with it but it is doing some really weird painful things. Sort of along the lines of a massive cramp or "charlie horse" one might get in the calf muscle.
From my research trying to FIND what this muscle is called I "think" I have narrowed it down to the linea alba.
This muscle starts at the bottom of the breast bone and goes down to the pubic runs straight down the middle, between our rib cages. It is what connects some other ab muscles (rectus abdominis) or the two muscles that make up the "six-pack" ab muscles.
I was thinking "hernia" but I have always thought that hernias were a "tear" in the muscle. Could be wrong on that but I digress.
When I bend over to tie my shoes or to pick something up this muscle FLIPS over on itself. It becomes SEVERLY painful, meaning I gasp for changes positions enough that it sticks out, creating an outward lump about the size of a walnut.....I can watch it FLIP back to the right position and then the severe intense pain is gone. Just like that. I can MAKE this muscle do it....have even shown my massage therapist. She freaked out.....It isn't something that I want to make happen of course but I felt desperate and countless times of trying to explain it wasn't getting through. I also have that terribly bad rib-cage pain and what seems like a thousand little marbles which are actually the knotted muscles that sit on them. The knots go in between my breasts and affect the start of my breast tissue. Anyhow, we are thinking that this is all just a part of the fibro and this muscle is just pretty well screwed.
When it does it's flip thing I have learned to arch my back as much as possible and start immediately rubbing the area with my fingers and dragging them in an outward motion towards my sides. Take a few deep breaths and watch it flip back into it's rightful position. It never happens without me engaging the muscle (bending over, holding in stomach, etc...).
It hasn't progressed in pain level ( I don't know how it could) but it has increased in frequency. I used to know that I would have 3-4 seconds of the bending over motion to get something done, feel it start it's "thing" and I could straighten up without it completing it's if I even make an attempt to engage that muscle it starts the process. I have to do so many things differently now to try and keep this from happening.
Trying to strengthen the muscle would be impossible. Any attempt at a crunch is out of the question. Other things are starting to be affected.....forgive me but, these muscles are engaged during "relations" and DH is getting a little um, "stressed" with me.  blush   
Any thoughts about this sounding like a hernia? It doesn't hurt when it is in place. No constant pain.
Thanks for reading!

The more time I spend with people, the more I like my dog.

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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 9/21/2008 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Susi,

I'm sure this is very frustrating, to say the least. I would be surprised if it was a hernia but then I had one repaired when I was 5 and it's very uncommon for women to even get them.

Please show this to your doctor! It may not be anything urgent but there's no way to know unless you let him/her check it out. I would be especially concerned after your therapists reaction.

Keep us posted,
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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 9/21/2008 11:05 PM (GMT -7)   
That would be my exact same response too. It's possible, but not necessarily probable that it's a hernia. It may be something as simple as there being another muscle behind it that's irritated and is pushing this one in question out of it's proper functioning alignment. It's very likely something relatively simple. But I don't have explicit enough knowledge of the anatomy to give you any solid advice, other than to tell you to consult someone else who does have that much knowledge.

I'm sorry that you're hurting like that. I can imagine how restricting it would be. Most people have no idea just how often any of the abdominal muscles come into play during every day life. Here's hoping you find some relief and answers soon.

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Date Joined Apr 2008
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   Posted 9/21/2008 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
It could be a hernia. Hernias are splits or tears in the muscle, the lump is usually your intestines slipping through. As long as the intestine slips back in, you are ok. If the lump appears and won't go away- get to the ER immediately. If your intestine gets trapped, it can die and even kill you.

I had a hernia next to my belly button. The baseball sized lump would appear and dissappear. It looked like an alien trying to break free. Between diagnosis and surgery I was not allowed to push, pull, or lift more than 5 lbs.

If it is a hernia, it could be getting worse, so please see a doctor ASAP. You want to fix them when they are small.

Good luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 9/22/2008 4:42 AM (GMT -7)   
The lump is the muscle not my intestines coming through. It's at the top or start of this muscle. Too high up and sits directly under the bottom of the breast bone. It moves (flips) tightens/hardens (severe cramp) and then finally relaxes (un-does it's flip).
There are no other muscles present behind this muscle (per the anatomy lesson I have been giving myself trying to find its name).
This has been happeneing for well over a year now. Not getting worse just happening more often.
The more time I spend with people, the more I like my dog.

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   Posted 9/22/2008 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I think this is one for your doc to figure out Susi. Some of my muscles feel like rope under the skin but nothing like that. I hope you get answers soon.
luv and hugs
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   Posted 9/22/2008 7:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with everyone here.  Talk to your doctor about it.  Meanwhile, I think I'd be stretching the area as much as possible and massaging those knots.  Try sitting down on the bed and arch your back backward as far as you can comfortably go.  That should stretch that muscle.  I know that muscles that aren't stretched will spasm and maybe, when  you bend forward, that's what is happening.
Let us know what you do.  I'm curious about this!
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 368
   Posted 9/22/2008 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Occaisonaly I get horrific pain through my rib cage area like all the muscles are contracting with me is simply fibro but yours sounds different than mine, though if that is the sort of pain you are getting and at all in that area I know how intense it is.

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   Posted 9/23/2008 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I guess I'll put my 2 cents in-for whatever it's worth. eyes   The only thing I can think of (from the info you've given), is that maybe your gallbladder is "flipping."  Is the pain more on the right side than the left?  BTW-the only reason I am even making a guess at what is happening to you is because I had a weird flipping sensation (It's not exactly as you described) that turned out to be my gallbladder.  Maybe the "marbles" you feel are gallstones? confused
I realize that I may be way off on what is really happening to you, but I just wanted to share my similar experience.  But, really, I think the best thing to do is see your doc, ASAP. yeah
BTW-I hope your boxer baby is doing well, too. :-)
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 9/23/2008 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
OMGosh... I thought I was the only one who did this with the weird tummy muscle kink thing... Gee, now I know that there are at least two of us Suzi. My stomach muscle started doing this after a pregnancy and I just assumed that the muscle was stretched and kind of got a cramp. When mine starts to do it I have to do the arched back thing, too... never thought to massage it, just stretch it back to regular again. I sort of avoid doing things that make it kink, put my leg up on the bed and bend over it to tie my shoe. I'm reallly careful about how I lift. This may not be related to fibro at all, just to an overstretched muscle, maybe? Anyway, at least I don't feel so odd anymore now that I have a sister in tummy bumpness... Mine kind of looks like I have an alien under my skin when it cramps... (Strange X-Files music starts playing....)
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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 9/24/2008 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
"Alien under the skin"........ yeah
YES!!! this is it exactly. It is located directly in the center. Looking down between my breasts as soon as they stop and the abdomen starts. It's painful and annoying but self resolves. I was thinking that it WASN'T a hernia since it isn't painful unless it is in it's "cramp". Hernias (I suspect) would be painful all the time and even more intense when that muscle was engaged.

The more time I spend with people, the more I like my dog.

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