T Nation

Pain at the Pec Tendons

Over a year ago, I did sets of simple pushups to failure. Had pain the next day at the outer extremity where the pec and shoulder meet, right above the armpit (on both sides).

A year later, the pain is still not totally gone. I haven’t even worked out ever since. That part above the armpit is still tender.

Tenderness increases when extending arm behind body, or when stretching my arms out like in a fly. I don’t know if that’s relevant, but I don’t have any pain with overhead motions.

Any advice?

pec pain 7

What do you do for work?
What have you tried management wise?
What was your training history like when this first happened?
What’s your biggest concern, at this point in time?
How bad is the tenderness on a normal day? Does the pain level vary throughout the day?

-Student. I’m 18
-Nothing. Just not exercising
-I never lifted weights before. Just bodyweight training (pushups, pullups, pistols…)
-My pecs/shoulders just don’t feel the same as before. Tenderness to touch and painful positions mentioned before, affecting quality of life
-Dull chronic ache. Does not vary throughout the day.

How often do you check to see if you’re still tender in those spots?

I don’t touch them often. They just ache.

Like I said before, it has affected my quality of life. For example I can’t move my arms behind my body. I can’t do basic things like get out of bed while my arms are behind my body. It hurts that pec-shoulder connection area.



Are you planning on going to the gym to fix this?

Or are you looking for exercises to do at home?

Or are you gonna take the “Can’t I just do nothing?” approach?

I’m willing to do exercises at home yes. But I don’t know what or how.

It is difficult to envision a pushups-induced injury to the pec tendons that would still be hanging around a year later. OTOH, injury to the proximal biceps tendons would explain the chronicity of your pain and tenderness. Either way, you need to be evaluated by a physician to determine what’s going on.

How’s your posture?

Are you slump shouldered, carrying a back pack and looking down at books all day?

Yeah when I sit I’m a bit hunchback, but that’s why I usually lie down supine on the couch and use the laptop (the laptop is on my chest if that makes sense). I don’t carry a back pack.

I did the Speeds test. There is no pain.

Special tests such as speeds test or O’Brien’s test cannot appropriately differentiate between causes of shoulder pain, especially if they are performed on yourself, without other tests.

I echo the words of @EyeDentist, although I would suggests seeing a physiotherapist/physical therapist prior to a physician if possible.

Look at this guys shitty shoulder position

Pecs and biceps, which should be Lengthened and tight and short. Mid back muscles, rear Delts and triceps, which should be engaged and tightened are loose. As a result the shoulders are elevated and rolled forward, crunching on your tendons.

Look at this Great position.
Shoulders are “anti shrugged” or held down, away from the ear. Mid back is engaged and supporting the shoulders, pecs and biceps are relaxed and lengthened. Triceps and rear Delts are “on” and the arm (at the elbow) and the shoulder is fully extended. So there is plenty of room for the various tendons to move across the front of the joint.

Here’s some doctors showing how to engage back muscles.

And some doctors showing you how to stretch your pecs

Thanks. Do I just do them everyday? And I will try to go to a doctor/PT, but I live in a third world country and I think docs here are pretty inexperienced in those kind of things, which is why I asked here in the first place.

You seem pretty inexperienced and not in any kind of shape for daily work.

Start out with twice a week and see how you do.