Pectoral Muscle Strain


pectoral muscle strain

or a chest muscle strain is the resultant of a tear in the chest muscles. The pectoral muscles constitute of two muscles viz., the

pectoralis major


and the

pectoralis minor


. These muscles collectively assist in the movement of the shoulder blade and when these muscles experience a high force or severe stress, they strain.

Pectoral muscle strain

is observed in people who are into exercising a lot.

Causes of Pectoral Muscle Strain:

Chest press and bench press exercises are the major causes of a chest muscle strain. During these exercises, the force is way too much than what the muscles in the chest can actually withstand causing them to strain.

  • This particular muscle strain can also occur over a period of time in people who are into performing activities that require repeated motion of the chest muscles or the pectoral muscles.
  • Also, a lack of proper warm up before beginning the exercises can also be a cause.

Strain Grades and Symptoms:

The strain these pectoral muscles experience can be graded into three categories, viz. Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3. While i refers to minor pain, 2 refers to a moderate one along with limited activity and 3 severe along with swelling and bruising.

  • It is based on these grades that the symptoms would also depend. In some, grade 1 strains can go asymptomatic. In some cases, the pain may be experienced in the neck and the upper arm along with the chest.
  • While a few people can carry on with the strain while performing an activity, the soreness and discomfort would slowly appear overnight.


Once you experience soreness in the chest muscles, stop exercising or any activity for that matter that would involve the chest muscles. Proper protein diet along with rest is necessary for the strain and pain to subside.

  • Apply ice packs over the swollen region for at least 15 minutes to keep the swelling under control.
  • See a doctor for a prescribed anti-inflammatory if the pain gets really severe.
  • People who are still amateurs in exercising should take it slow and easy and make sure not to over do their routine. Proper warm-ups would also prevent a

    pectoral muscle strain


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