Abdominal rigidity involves abnormal muscle tension or inflexibility of the abdomen, detected when touched or pressed.
When there is a sore area in the abdomen, the pain becomes more intense as the hand presses against it and overcomes the muscular resistance.
A patient’s fear or nervousness about being touched (palpated) in the abdominal area is referred to as voluntary rigidity. It usually occurs on both sides of the abdomen. Involuntary rigidity, usually caused by a physical condition, may affect one or both sides and may be associated with pain.
nausea, Vomiting, abdominal tenderness, swelling, and pain often accompany abdominal rigidity.
by Brenda A. Kuper, M.D.
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