T Nation

Serious Injury, Pain In My Sternum

…Or at least i hope not.

To the point. There is a stabbing pain in the middle of my sternum, when i put pressure on it (ie. touch the bar to my chest), push the air out of my chest, or “suck in my chest” as you may call it. Blowing it up does nothing. It is affected by some Overhead movements, pressing movements, and a few others. It does not hurt when i stretch, or use my chest muscles. When twisting i can feel it, and it is much, much worse first thing in the morning, and will hurt less as the day goes on.

I hope someone can give me some sort of educated response other than “see a doctor!” because, in my situation the doctors are scarce, and none of them have much or any knowledge on sport, or weight lifting related injuries. the closest professional is about 3 hours from here, and frankly, thats the only reason im posting this. I would have been gone long ago if i had the option to.


I cant exactly pinpoint it. Seems to focus on the Midle and Upper parts of my sternum. As for cause, i have no idea. No one specific incident caused it, not one that i can remember. I think it was little at first, and i just ignored and tried to push through it, and of course… you can guess what happened.

If I use heavy dummbells and do a chest press with an extreme range of motion I can get my chest to pop/crack.

I have ocassionally experience a similar pain/tightness in the sternum. I wanted it to “pop” but I could not get it to.

When I went to my Chiropractor who also does ART and asked for a sternum pop he said I can do that but let’s see if that’s the real issue. I ended having tight back muscles, lower traps and that was actually the root cause of my pain. He rubbed my back muscles and did the ART for a few minutes and my chest felt about 80% better

Never had an issude with that before… but theres no way im ruling it out. Ill do some stretching for my traps, and Lats as well, and see if i find any noticable difference. If it comes down to it, i guess ill see the Chyro about it. Ill just find the money first…

I get a similar thing, but I can 95% of the time get rid of it with a few minutes of foam rolling my upper back.

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I had a similar injury from training jiu-jitsu. I couldn’t point to a specific cause, other than an accumulation effect caused by a bunch of neanderthals trying to squash me through the mat.

When I did dips it felt like my chest was going to tear open. However, dips were what eventually made the pain go away. My chest still pops from time to time, but it isn’t painful.

You have a very advanced Vocab :slight_smile:

I already felt around there, and everything seems to be normal. no pain from touching it, just from what i descibed above.

As for the jiu-jitsu related injury, i think its a similar thing. It probably was caused by hitting the bar too har don my chest durring bench/close grip, or maybe a combination of a few similar things.

Ill keep you guys updated, thanks for the concern.

I used to get pains in my sternum from weighted dips. When I stopped them, over time, the pain subsided.


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I get the same pain in my chest and the popping too, only mine still hurts like crazy. My chest gets real tight but when i pop it it feels a lot better.

I got my injury from playing Rugby about 2 years , I got hit with a hard tackle and I tore muscles in my shoulder, trapezius, my collar bone and my sternum. The physio said it was all related and that the pains in my chest are as a result of the damage to my shoulders and traps. They couldn’t explain the popping though.

Like was mentioned before, i get the pains when i do dips or bench press, but i don’t think there is anything i can do to get rid of it!

exact same thing happened to me last night from my grappling class…damn rock apes crawling all over me!

I was doing dips last cycle with two 45 lb plates hanging off my waist… so that could have had some adverse effects lol. felt like i was going to skin myself, but it was great on the triceps, guess my chest didnt handle it so well…

Think this is it, or should i continue doing them? cause’ i would hate to stop.

This is what I was talking about - from Eric Cressey:

Shoulder Saver #15: Thoracic Extensions on the Foam Roller

Mike Robertson and I brought the foam roller to the attention of T-Nation with our Feel Better for $10 article. In this article, we talked a lot about the self-myofascial release benefits of foam rolling, but we didn’t delve into too much detail on how the roller can be used to directly improve mobility. Thoracic extensions on the foam roller are a fantastic way to normalize an excessively kyphotic curve and improve thoracic mobility.

To start, simply position the roller on your upper back about an inch below the bases of your shoulder blades. Now, put your butt on the floor, and don’t let it move for the duration of the drill. Brace the abs to keep the lumbar spine from hyperextending; we don’t want the range of motion to come there.

Put your hands behind your head (don’t pull on the head) and pull the elbows together. Then, keeping the chin tucked, push your head back toward the floor and imagine popping the chest up to the sky. You’ll feel the upper back loosen up with each successive slow, controlled rep (hold at the bottom for a count of two).

After you’ve finished in one spot, slide the roller up a few vertebral segments, and work on mobility at the midpoint of your scapulae. Just be sure to not do this on your lumbar spine; you don’t want additional range of motion there.