Strained Chest Muscle

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Eddie Brock, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Eddie Brock

    Eddie Brock New User

    Jun 25, 2005
    I had played a few sets last week after not playing matches (but playing a lot of clinics). After the last match I felt very tired and was breathing hard the whole match, but otherwise didn't have any pain.

    When I got home my chest started to really hurt on the left side. It was hurting all the time, but especially with movement.

    I've been resting the last few days and now it only hurts if I move suddenly, but it still feels tender.

    My theory is that I hurt it hitting so many 2 handed backhands. In my 2hr + match my opponent kept hitting high balls to my backhand side and played mainly to my backhand. During most clinics I'm hitting mainly volleys or forehands.

    Maybe I'm asking too late, but does anyone have any ideas on how to speed up the healing process and how long it should take to heal? I'm supposed to play another tournament match next week and I hoping to be training for it instead of nursing an injured chest.
  2. tbln

    tbln New User

    Oct 6, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Medically speaking, there is nothing proven to speed up the healing process aside from rest. You can try icing the affected area, but stay away from NSAIDs if you can as theres evidence that they might interfere with healing. An experienced physiotherapist or sports physician can examine you can give you an approximated time frame of recovery.

    As for training, your best bet is probably to jog or cycle to maintain/improve your cardio fitness and hope your injury heals adequately before your next tournament.

    Good luck!
  3. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Professional

    Mar 23, 2013
    Find a way to stretch GENTLY your chest. For example in thru a door.
    Or lying down on your back with a small pillow under your shoulder blades and your arms outstretched to your sides or over your head.

    Once you feel a slight stretch in the area(s) that feel like it needs it, hold at that point and soften into it. Hold for 5 minutes.

    If you don't force anything, you will not injure yourself.

    Always go into and out of stretches slowly.

    Or you can do some self trigger point therapy on areas that feel hot, hard or tender.

    Plenty of vids on Youtube on that.

    If the pain still persists, best to seek professional medical advice in person.
  4. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Jun 29, 2011
    I suspect...

    Strained Rib Cage Muscle?

    Strained rib cage muscles can make moving and breathing painful. The intercostal muscles are the ones that are in between the ribs in the chest. They are the muscles that move to allow the lungs to expand and contract for breathing. If the muscles become strained, they need to be rested as much as possible. Applying a cold compress to the chest can help with pain and swelling. It will take time for the muscles to heal, so it is important to not overdo it until they are fully healed.

  5. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

    Dec 9, 2010
    Trigger point or foam roll yes, wait for the static stretching until the muscle has had a chance to heal. Keep it moving though, adhesions form from lack of movement.
  6. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Professional

    Mar 23, 2013
    Oooh, I don't know about the foam roller in the chest/rib cage area. It can be a pretty tender region normally, plus trying to balance yourself on it, you might strain yourself...just seems a little too aggressive IMO.

    And you can def stretch muscles at any point as long as you go gently...

    Most people tend to force the stretch....

    You don't need to go to end range either.

    Once you feel a little stretch, hold there. Breathe and soften into it.

    And you need to hold it for at least 5 minutes to engage the collagenous barrier.

    Go into and out of stretches slowly and gently to not engage the stretch reflex and cause the tissue to rebound.

    That stretch I suggested lying over the pillow can hit everything in the torso, and you can turn to the side to open up the ribcage more.
  7. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Professional

    Mar 23, 2013
    Might also be a good time to check that you're breathing with the diaphragm as well. Expanding the abdomen during inhale and not breathing with the chest/ribcage.

    During rest, diaphragmatic breathing should not be forceful and involve minimal rib/chest expansion.
  8. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Jun 8, 2006
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I just got through something called rib dysfunction that I thought was a strained chest muscle. Instead of icing (which I had been doing) a sports doc told me to use heat and it has gone. It was hell lying in bed, very painful.
  9. comeback

    comeback Professional

    Oct 13, 2010
    I've had it twice. it was scary the first time because it's in the chest area and i thought it was my heart..But it heals on it's own; however it took me about 2 weeks because it's a big muscle group

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