Methods of treatment for a strained oblique muscle include simply allowing the muscle to cool down for inflammation to subside and gentle stretching, according to Dr. Jonathan Cluett for About.com. If the strain is severe, it is suggested to see a physician or physical therapist for an evaluation.
Since there is no way to splint the abdomen or fully rest the muscles, treating muscle strains in this area is difficult. Avoiding exercise is an important part of letting the strain heal. Any activities that cause pain or muscle spasms should also be avoided, says Dr. Cluett.
Additionally, stretching should not be painful as excessive stretching can slow the healing process. Gentle heating before activities helps to loosen the muscles. Applying ice to the area within the first 48 hours of the injury and after activities also helps the healing process, explains Dr. Cluett.
Abdominal muscle strains are graded in three levels: mild, moderate and severe, notes Dr. Cluett. Mild strains rarely limit daily activity and cause minimal discomfort or disability. Moderate strains limit the ability to do certain exercises and motions such as crunches and twisting movements. Severe muscle strains cause pain with normal activities and patients often complain about muscle spasms and bruising.