If you are an avid gym-goer and you like to get your chest big and strong, then you might have suffered from a chest injury before.
This can often be very painful and you might be inclined to think that it is something wrong with the inside of your chest, but rest assured, most likely you have strained your chest muscle.
The stats are in - turns out only 20% of people suffering from pains in the chest are actually dealing with a heart attack. Most of the time you have simply pulled a muscle in your chest and you just need to rest up for a few days before going back to the gym.
Often when you are working out, you’ll have torn the muscle in your chest, which will often feel achy and painful, giving you plenty of reason to aggravate the area.
This will heal in time, but you have to be sure not to put any more undue pressure on that area.
If you are experiencing pain in this area of your body, then we would suggest that you keep reading.
We have a handy list of things that you will need to be sure that you have everything that you need to get back on that pec deck and build your muscles again completely from scratch.
How Can You Tell You’ve Pulled A Chest Muscle?
The first thing you’ll need to isolate is whether or not you’ve torn your pectoral muscle. There are a few different signs and symptoms that you’ve pulled this area in your chest.
The first sign is that you might be experiencing pain when you are exhaling and inhaling. This will manifest itself as a dull ache as the muscle moves.
You can also see bruising and marks on the pectoral area, although these are slightly less common than sprains. If you have torn the muscle itself, then the pain will be a lot more acute and you might be looking at marks on the chest itself.
If you are experiencing dizziness or nausea along with chest pains, then this could be the sign that you are having a heart attack and you’ll need to call the emergency services immediately.
One method of telling apart chest sprains from a heart attack is by pressing the area where the pain is emanating from.
If your chest responds painfully to pressure, then the chances are that you might simply be suffering from a strain or a muscle tear. This means that the pain is localized in the muscle rather than underneath the muscle itself.
How Can You Pull A Chest Muscle?
One of the main reasons that you have pulled a muscle is you have not warmed up properly. Warming up is one of the more important parts of exercising, as it gets the blood flowing to that area and also stretches out the muscle in preparation for the inevitable lifting.
Another reason why you might have pulled the muscle in your chest is if you are moving furniture that is too heavy. Again, you should avoid lifting any weight that is too large for you.
The same goes when you are at the gym working out on the weight machine. Loading up too many weights will certainly cause significant muscle soreness.
Any sport that requires repetitive arm movements will also result in you pulling your chest muscle. If you are an avid tennis player or swimmer, then straining the natural range of motion in your arm will be a surefire way of yanking this muscle too hard and straining it.
You can also pull a muscle in your chest if you are coughing way too hard. This is because the muscle in the chest is being rapidly and forcefully stimulated. This is an example of the inner workings of the chest affecting the outside.
This injury is usually considered a minor one and will heal on its own after a few days or weeks, depending on the severity of the tear.
You should avoid pulling this muscle again until it is fully healed, as this might cause more severe injury that you might struggle to recover from.
We would recommend that you take painkillers during this time to alleviate some of the pain, as the chest is unfortunately involved in a lot of movement and you won’t get very far without moving it and causing yourself a lot of pain.
How Long Can You Suffer From A Pulled Chest Muscle?
This will all depend on how severely you have injured yourself. If you are suffering from a severe tear, then you could be looking at 2 - 3 weeks of healing.
If you are experiencing pain for around 12 weeks, then this could be because you are continuing the activity and the wound is not being allowed to heal.
Will Massaging Help A Strained Chest Muscle?
Again, this will all depend on how severe the tear is. Massaging will increase the amount of blood flow to the affected region, which could speed up the recovery.
This will not be a complete treatment and the sad fact is that you might have to wait at least a week until you notice a decrease in the pain.
We would certainly recommend that you take pain relief pills as well as light stretching and maybe massing in conjunction to abate the pain. However, this will not generally speed up the healing process.