SUNDAY MARCH 4TH 2012:
While in the gym doing flat bench press using the Smith Machine (rod-guided lateral pressing movement) I worked my way effortlessly up to around 335 pounds after having done 3 or 4 preceding warmup sets. The weight didn't seem 'heavy' as I am in the midst of an anabolic-assisted cycle, yet during the concentric (pushing) portion of the repetition I felt a slight tension-strain and very subtle burning sensation between my pec and anterior/front deltoid in the near the center of my pectoral. This sensation continued but didn't worsen during reps 4-5, but then once again on the pressing/concentric motion of rep 6, the initial strain and burning reached an instant climax and I felt a sort of "three-staged" pop, pop, pop that I would describe as pulling a piece of silly-putty end-for-end where it doesn't snap in two pieces, yet it lengthens and becomes elongated and thin/weak.
As I have never experienced any true debilitating injury before to compare it to, I wised up at this point in time and decided to call it a day and racked the weight and immediately became very concerned as I have read about and seen pictures of a pectoral tendon/insertion detachment before and know it is a severe and hard-to-rehabilitate injury. The pain at first was negligible, almost as if nothing happened, UNLESS I tried to flex my left pectoral specifically and then I could feel something was wrong/weakened. The discomfort continually grew for the next hour, but never reached a point of 'agony' by any means, only enough pain to keep me aware that something wrong had indeed occurred. As I type this, a couple hours after the incident at home on my laptop, if I keep my left arm stationary and type by only moving my wrists, no pain occurs, HOWEVER if I try to move my left arm across my body from left-to-right or shift it left-to-right on the key board, the pain is evident and constant.
A couple points that may be of importance to note is that my mobility is only truly limited when laterally raising my stretched-out arm in front of my body, or even when I use by chest for anything as small as situating myself upon sitting down, or pushing myself up from a seated position. Lastly, I am nearly 100% certain a complete rupture/tear didn't occur, because my pectoral didn't detach and shrink down toward my sternum into an isolated lump as I have seen online with other athletes.
Absolutely any insight, possible diagnosis, and treatment/ongoing care suggestions (ice/heat/time off/rehab exercises, etc) would be hugely appreciated. Without sounding melodramatic, weight training is literally my life blood, it enriches my life like nothing else imaginable, so I will follow absolutely any instructions. I forgot to mention:
About three-four years ago I suffered a very severe distal biceps tendon strain doing hammer curls in the gym, which caused me to receive multiple MRIs and extremity MRIs, along with ultrasound therapy and a couple months off from the gym - my condition never truly healed, it only became manageable enough to return to training once again. I was told by more than one doctor at the time of the biceps tendon injury that the origination of the problem could very well be in my shoulder where the tendon ultimately began (and I have been able to feel this prediction countless times doing curls even years later, my deltoid tendon becomes very taxed and seem to take the brunt of the workout while training). Well, last night, my inner-elbow or what was referred to as the distal biceps tendon, was very sore and felt 'brittle,' after training. I simply assumed I was dehydrated and didn't think anything else of it. Today at the gym, the chest injury I experience could have very well sprang from a weakened tendon/connective tissue in my arm/shoulders, which gave way under the load of the bench press. I feel as though these injuries all coincide, even though they have a few years separating them.