T Nation

Think I've Torn a Lat Muscle


Arrived at the gym this morning, and following a warm-up began my Upper-Body 'Pull' session with a few sets of chins. Didn't notice any problems while doing so, but during the first warm-up set of my barbell rows, I felt a sudden sharp pain down at the very bottom of my right lat, right where it attaches onto the rib.

Ended the set and took a breather, which allowed the pain to dissipate, and a few minutes later when back to the barbell- I didn't even finish picking it up before the pain kicked in again, and it was nearly unbearable. I had noticed yesterday after benching that the area was feeling tender, but everything had felt fine from then on. The entire walk back to my flat I couldn't stand up straight, and with every step and breath the pain kept getting worse.

I've taken painkillers and been icing it, and the most acute pain seems to have gone, but I can't apply any sort of a stretch to my right side, and the spot hurts like a bitch when touched. Is there anything else I can be doing to help the recovery? I've never torn a muscle before (if indeed that IS what I've done) and so don't know how to go about doing things?

I know I should wait at least until the pain is gone before returning to the weights, but don't know how long to wait until I can be certain that I won't just end up re-tearing a muscle which hasn't fully healed. Anybody torn a lat muscle who can offer some advice? I'm dreading the thought of the lats being one of the muscles that just takes ages to heal, as I'd been progressing really well lately and don't want to see that work getting undone. Appreciate any input!


just ice it for 48 hours don't stretch it at all or move it in any range that causes pain, after that alternate between heat and ice for the next while. A week or so in start testing the waters to regain ROM when you have your full ROM back you can start strengthening it again as well as foam rolling the crap out of it. In the mean time go see a doc or a physio regarding that problem.