Pectoralis Major Injury

Hey guys, this is my first post in the T-Nation forums despite being a long time reader.

Earlier today I was benching for a double @ 300lbs, and on the second rep, I felt something in my left pec pop, immediately followed by a strange, burning, almost ‘bubbly’ kind of pain in my left pec. I was still able to complete the rep, and cautiously ended my workout early (after a few heavy calve raises :wink:

Even immediately after the incident, there wasn’t much pain, and not any noticeable swelling. Now a few hours later, it is still kind of tender, but only when stretching it, or putting even light loads on it (for example, when squeezing the top down on a child-safe cap of ibuprofen ;)) Strangely though, the pain is still almost more of a ‘burning’ feeling. The last time I felt this ‘burning’ kind of pain was when I sprained my ankle, but that was much more painful and swelled up to the size of a baseball.

To be on the safe side, I’ve iced it and started a light schedule of anti-inflammatories, and will be going to the doctor in the next few days.

I’m looking for input from anybody who has experienced or been around somebody with a pec injury. What I’m really trying to determine is if it is a full tear, a partial tear, just a strain, or maybe something else. I’m particularly worried about tears, because from what I’ve read so far, they often require surgery and even still never fully heal.

So guys and gals, anybody ever had anything similar, and what was the diagnosis? How did you treat it, and how long did it take you to get back to full strength?

Hey man, I had a pec injury that sounds exactly the same a few years ago.

I was also wondering if it was a tear or a strain. I went to the doctor and he told me it was a partial tear, and to not bench for 6 weeks to 2 months. After that it would most likely be fine.

The problem was that I was compulsive about exercising. I decided to do some very light benching to stretch it out…BAD IDEA.

I was stupid and exercised on it (lightly, mind you) during those 2 months. Day after Day I would stretch it and do some pushups just to see if there was any improvement…nothing.

To make a long story short…because I was stupid and didn’t rest, it did not heal for 6 months, and even then it would still be a little extra stiff after a heavy workout.

Nowadays it’s fine, but it sure was hell. If only I was patient enough to rest until it fully healed, I would have saved myself a lot of time and pain.

My advice to you: be smart and rest it until it fully heals. Don’t do ANYTHING with it, not even stretch it. If you don’t, then your day of healing will be delayed.

Tiger Balm and Arnica (homeopathic) really helps also.

Good luck! let us know!

Thanks for your story and advice! It’s relieving to hear that you had something similar and that it was only a partial tear. Hopefully that’s all I have, and the doctor can reassure me of this.

I can feel you on the having a tough time sitting out for a while, but I’ve learned my lesson on this area with my knees (turned what shoulda been a 6 week injury into almost a 2 year one)