Pec injury/tear

Big Papi

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felt what i can only describe as velcor tearing while on rep 3/5 on my first set of flat barbell bench press, with the adrenaline flowing i was able to complete the last 2 repetitions before jumping up and looking at my spotter in horror. first thing he said was "i heard it". i aborted the rest of the workout and went home, took 800mg of ibuprofen and iced for 20 mins qhour. my injured left pec appreciably more inflamed/swollen than the unaffected right pec. after a few hours and another 800mg dose of ibuprofen the pain began to subside, as has the inflammation.

the anterior axillary fold on the injured side is essentially identical to the contralateral side, there is no divot/defect that i can notice, and there is no ecchymosis on my pec or arm. i saw one of the ortho interns i'm friends with this morning who checked me out: he believes i did not sustain a major injury considering my current state (full rom and much less weakness now), but that my history is concerning. the staff here just called to get me in with an ortho attending asap- still waiting to hear back since their office is at lunch.

my mechanism of injury and symptomatology is obviously classic for a pec muscle injury or some sort, but i'm wondering if anyone has experienced something similarly scary (nothing freaks lifters out like a tearing sensation in a muscle) and not actually had much sequelae following the traumatic event.
 
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CorpKiller

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Yes, 14 months ago. I didn't hear mine go, but felt the tear. The pain gradually settled in a few minutes later. Sorry to hear about your injury. Take your time coming back.
 

Big Papi

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Yes, 14 months ago. I didn't hear mine go, but felt the tear. The pain gradually settled in a few minutes later. Sorry to hear about your injury. Take your time coming back.
did you have any imaging done? surgery? how long did it take to return to lifting?
 
Misfit28

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Ouch, hope it all turns out well for you! Keep us posted!
 

Big Papi

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Ouch, hope it all turns out well for you! Keep us posted!
thanks, man. i'm seeing an orthopod on monday who has done a bunch of these and has published on pec tears. i'm legit freaked out lol
 
CorpKiller

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No imaging or surgery done. Doctor prescribed ice and immobility for few days. I took a week off from any lifting. After the week, I focused on legs, cardio and anything non-spec related, but carefully. I wore compression shirts under my sweats which actually helped support the injury. After about six weeks, doctor recommended light rom stretching and light isometrics and resistance bands. Two months out, began doing incline presses with light DBs - 10s to 15s. Incline DBs were comfortable because the injury occurred on the flat bench. I think it was about five months before starting to go a little heavier. I feel the time off then stretching really helped. Definitely got to take your time recovering. It's a hit mentally. I am 45 years old and have trained since age 15, so it sucked. Having said that, I followed my doc's advice didn't lose any noticeable size. Hang in there.
 
CorpKiller

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thanks, man. i'm seeing an orthopod on monday who has done a bunch of these and has published on pec tears. i'm legit freaked out lol
Sounds like he'll have you a good plan.
 

Big Papi

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No imaging or surgery done. Doctor prescribed ice and immobility for few days. I took a week off from any lifting. After the week, I focused on legs, cardio and anything non-spec related, but carefully. I wore compression shirts under my sweats which actually helped support the injury. After about six weeks, doctor recommended light rom stretching and light isometrics and resistance bands. Two months out, began doing incline presses with light DBs - 10s to 15s. Incline DBs were comfortable because the injury occurred on the flat bench. I think it was about five months before starting to go a little heavier. I feel the time off then stretching really helped. Definitely got to take your time recovering. It's a hit mentally. I am 45 years old and have trained since age 15, so it sucked. Having said that, I followed my doc's advice didn't lose any noticeable size. Hang in there.
thanks for the great info. did you have bruising following the injury? did you see an orthopedist? sorry to pester you lol

i can palpate the tendon all the way to its insertion point on the humerus. hoping for the best..
 
CorpKiller

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My pleasure. No ortho, just my primary physician. I had slight bruising, but what concerned my doc was the yellowing from the internal bleeding due to the tear. The discoloration went away after several weeks. Be careful when you are in bed or lying down. You'd be surprised at how much you spec is involved with moving the body around in that position. The only Rx I used was a good dose of naproxen sodium.
 
xR1pp3Rx

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tore my calf and hamstring on the leg press. took months to just get off the crutches. had to use all my vacation and sick pay.
took well over a yr for pain under weight to go away. I have only played with squats since as the stability in the knee is much weaker and hurts under the mid point during decent.
I do a lot more hamstring work than used to.
 
CorpKiller

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Yeah, calf injuries take forever to heal.
 
Jiigzz

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Try supplementing with potassium





:D

Just kidding. Good luck for your recovery
 
dkgreene88

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That sucks man. My father tore his right pec a few years ago. He still hasn't gotten back into it like he did before.. Partially Bc he's gotten lazy lol
 
KimChee75

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Basically the same thing happened to me and the recovery was similar to what corpkiller said. It was very tough mentally to accept this, and I actually ended up taking off some additional time from lifting after this. My advice would be to listen to your ortho and take your time coming back. I remember when I finally used 15 lb Dumbbells and it burned bc of the downtime lol.

Just something else to mention, ever since that happened when I go over 335 on bench I get the same feeling as before, and I usually have to take a couple weeks off chest workouts and it's fine. Now that I'm getting older though I don't take any chances. Another one like that might be career ending at this stage of the game...good luck.
 

TheIronAsylum

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how did your chest feel before the tear or fulll tear?

did you have a biting in the chest beforehand?
iv been dealing with a weird biting feeling on the side of my right chest almost under the armpit for about a month now so im a little worried and its in the back of my head every chest day? whats weird is sometiems i dont feel it but then other times i feel huge biting and just shut down my workout

whatd you do to heal or help it?

thanks
 
KimChee75

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I forgot to mention I did have imaging done pec minor had a slight tear no surgery was done. This happened before I had learned any PT stuff. There was no minimal bruising no deformity etc.

Everything felt completely fine before that no sign anything was wrong. I would probably get it looked at my an orthopedic doctor if possible.

After the injury the thing that helped was the 4-6 weeks no chest after 6 weeks I did 15 lb dumbell flys. And didn't fully get back into it for about 4 months. It was mentally very rough because back then I loved bench press. I did light stretching and ROM.

The injury was permanent as I said above bc I can't go over 335 on bench (which I almost never do now) without getting the same symptoms again. Now that I'm 40 though benching max weights for me is much less important than it was 15 years ago lol.



how did your chest feel before the tear or fulll tear? did you have a biting in the chest beforehand? iv been dealing with a weird biting feeling on the side of my right chest almost under the armpit for about a month now so im a little worried and its in the back of my head every chest day? whats weird is sometiems i dont feel it but then other times i feel huge biting and just shut down my workout whatd you do to heal or help it? thanks
 

Big Papi

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Let me know what happens
great news, he said the tear was likely minor and within the muscle belly. no surgery required! 3 weeks of no chest work, followed by a few weeks with limited ROM chest presses before returning to normal training. i knew it was a good sign when i was able to palpate the tendon all the way to the bone. so relieved lol
 
Chrisehyoung

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Let it heal man. I pulled my pec minor a while ago and went back to pressing too soon. Now it's a nagging injury and I can't bench heavy without discomfort. Doc says it's healed but it doesn't feel the same anymore.
 
Synapsin

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great news, he said the tear was likely minor and within the muscle belly. no surgery required! 3 weeks of no chest work, followed by a few weeks with limited ROM chest presses before returning to normal training. i knew it was a good sign when i was able to palpate the tendon all the way to the bone. so relieved lol
Wonderful news, and yeah, I knew it wouldn't be too serious based on your detailed description :)
 
CorpKiller

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how did your chest feel before the tear or fulll tear?

did you have a biting in the chest beforehand?
iv been dealing with a weird biting feeling on the side of my right chest almost under the armpit for about a month now so im a little worried and its in the back of my head every chest day? whats weird is sometiems i dont feel it but then other times i feel huge biting and just shut down my workout

whatd you do to heal or help it?

thanks
The internal bleeding was primarily under my arm, where you said your biting is originating. I recommend resting it for a few weeks, then rehabbing it yourself with the stretching, etc protocol described above. Maybe this will stop that biting feel.
Remember, the pec, underarm area is all connected.
 
CorpKiller

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great news, he said the tear was likely minor and within the muscle belly. no surgery required! 3 weeks of no chest work, followed by a few weeks with limited ROM chest presses before returning to normal training. i knew it was a good sign when i was able to palpate the tendon all the way to the bone. so relieved lol
Glad to hear it was not as bad as it could have been. Kimchee is spot on with the description of recovery. Take your time getting back.
 

Big Papi

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Try supplementing with potassium





:D

Just kidding. Good luck for your recovery

Basically the same thing happened to me and the recovery was similar to what corpkiller said. It was very tough mentally to accept this, and I actually ended up taking off some additional time from lifting after this. My advice would be to listen to your ortho and take your time coming back. I remember when I finally used 15 lb Dumbbells and it burned bc of the downtime lol.

Just something else to mention, ever since that happened when I go over 335 on bench I get the same feeling as before, and I usually have to take a couple weeks off chest workouts and it's fine. Now that I'm getting older though I don't take any chances. Another one like that might be career ending at this stage of the game...good luck.
Let it heal man. I pulled my pec minor a while ago and went back to pressing too soon. Now it's a nagging injury and I can't bench heavy without discomfort. Doc says it's healed but it doesn't feel the same anymore.
Wonderful news, and yeah, I knew it wouldn't be too serious based on your detailed description :)
Glad to hear it was not as bad as it could have been. Kimchee is spot on with the description of recovery. Take your time getting back.
thanks for all the support, bros. it's really much appreciated! can't wait to get back to it in a couple of months
 

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