If you don't know firsthand what a pulled abdominal muscle feels like, consider yourself lucky. Until you injure your core muscles, you don't really realize how much you actually use them. In daily activities like breathing, standing or even sitting the torso is always involved. The area of the torso sometimes colloquially called the "stomach" is more properly called the abdominal region. See a physician if your pain is accompanied by fever, swelling or redness; the cause may be something that requires immediate attention.
Take a deep breath. Fill your lungs completely and hold the air for a few seconds. If you feel a strong, aching sensation in your abdomen, it could be an injured or pulled stomach -- or, more properly, ab -- muscle.
Let the air out of your lungs. If you're dealing with a pulled stomach muscle, once you stop using or moving the area, you should feel better within a few moments.
Sit on a chair and turn your torso from side to side. Turning is one of the most difficult tasks with a pulled abdominal muscle. You may feel a throbbing pain, not a stabbing pain.
Wait a few days and try the above steps again. Pulled stomach muscles don't take long to heal. If you still have the throbbing sensation after several days, call your doctor and set up an appointment. There are other injuries, such as a dislocated rib, that might be the culprit.
See a doctor immediately for mysterious abdominal pain, especially if it is unbearable or accompanied by redness, swelling or fever. Possible causes could include appendicitis or other conditions needing emergency treatment.
Never put heat on an injury unless specifically told to do so by your doctor. Although heat may feel good, sometimes it can do more damage than good.