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Wrong Diagnosis: Bruised Cartilage vs Pec Strain


8 days ago I was attempting to do db flat bench with 80lbers for reps. Unfortunately my left arm buckled and the dumbbell crashed into my chest. No real pain. The next day my pec and part of my back, between my spine and shoulder blades were extremely painful. Coughing and god forbid sneezing was super painfull. Like being stabbed.

Tuesday, I saw an orthopod and 2 docs examine me really carefully thinking I had broken a rib or bruised my heart. They came up with the conclusion that I had bruised the cartilage in my sternum. They said give it two weeks before going back to lifting. They prescribed hydrocodone for pain. Which helps a little.

Im beginning to think it may be a pec strain. For these reasons.

1) I feel pain and soreness in the muscle itself. The pain runs right along the center of the pec on a horizontal.
2) No bruising at all from the weight hitting me.
3) Yesterday I did front squats, leg presses and calves. No pain except for loading and unloading the bar. I rode an exercise bike for 10 minutes and started getting insane pain in the pec major. Wtf? I think it was from breathing harder and stretching the pec?
4) My sternum isnâ??t even tender

Does it really matter if its a pectoral strain or cartilage bruising? Theyre both going to take a while to heal up.


I'd say 'yes' insofar as cartilage damage takes a lot longer to heal than muscle tears.
I'm no medical expert, but my advice is: train what doesn't hurt.

And differentiate between good and bad pain. To me, good pain is pain that decreases over time doing certain exercises, if you catch my drift. I associate it with muscle tissue, usually. And tendons, sometimes. Never with ligaments or cartilage, though.



Thanks for the reply. Im hoping its just muscle tears.