Microtears can appear throughout the muscle fibers when your chest muscles get stretched a little too far for a little too long. This causes intercostal chest pain, an uncomfortable sensation that radiates through the front of the torso.
Torn chest muscles are very easily exacerbated by normal activity. Bending over, leaning, picking something up, or even using your arms can send a twinge of pain throughout your trunk.
Managing the pain and allowing your muscles to heal is your only sense of recourse, but the pain always offers an opportunity to learn. Preventing the issue from recurring is just as important.
What Are the Symptoms of Pulled Chest Muscles?
Pulled chest muscles can be particularly dreadful to deal with. Pain is the most obvious sign that something is wrong, particularly if the strain is exacerbated with the motion of the upper extremities.
In some cases, people with pulled chest muscles may experience difficulty breathing. When you take a deep breath, your lungs inflate and apply pressure to the muscle. This pressure can cause a pain response, which instinctually takes short and reserved breaths to avoid the pain.
Treating or reducing the pain makes it easier to get a deep breath without a radiating sensation of pain.
Chest Pain Can Be a Sign of an Emergency
Pulled chest muscles and a heart attack have a lot in common in terms of symptoms. If you experience pain running down your arm or through your jaw, your chest muscle is unlikely to be the problem.
Symptoms like difficulty breathing, feeling faint, profuse sweating or erratic pulse warrant a trip to the emergency room. Don’t take your chances. It’s better to go to the hospital and find out that you only have a pulled chest muscle than it is to sit at home and assume your heart attack is something less serious.
How to Avoid Pulled Chest Muscles
Lots of things can cause pulled chest muscles, and many of them are avoidable. They can sometimes be the result of exercise or other day-to-day activities that were performed improperly.
Be Mindful When Exercising
When exercising to build core or pectoral strength, it’s easy to overwork your chest muscles. If you’re working towards muscle building, it’s crucial to remember that slow and steady wins the race.
You need to ease into intensity increases over a prolonged period of time. Be sure to exercise in proper form. It never hurts to ask a trainer to critique or perfect your form if you work out at a gym.
Standing close to the mirror can help you check yourself as you go, assuring that you maintain the correct form throughout your workout.
Maintain Proper Posture
Bad posture can cause muscle and joint aches throughout your body. Leaning too far forward is likely to cause neck and shoulder pain. Leaning too far backward may put undue stress on your chest muscles. Choose a chair with a supportive back and keep your core in a straight line when you sit.
Sleep in a Comfortable Position
Restless sleepers often wake up with all sorts of aches and pains. Tossing, turning, twisting, and contorting throughout the night can lead to soreness upon waking. If you’re a restless sleeper, it’s time to consider what you need to make your bed more comfortable.
If you’re tossing and turning to kick blankets off or try to find them throughout the night, adjusting the temperature of your bedroom may help. Keeping the temperature consistently cool will prevent you from getting too hot throughout the night.
If you’re tossing and turning because you can’t stay comfortable, it may be time to upgrade your mattress. If that’s too pricey of investment, try a comfortable mattress pad.
Give Your Body Time To Recover
If you’re constantly active, your body isn’t getting enough time to recover from normal wear and tear. This can lead to pulled or strained muscles anywhere throughout your body. Give yourself a day off between strenuous activities to minimize the potential for overuse injuries.
How to Find Relief from Pulled Chest Muscles
You won’t find full relief from pulled chest muscles until the muscles have had time to recover completely. In the meantime, your best option is to help facilitate that recovery process and appropriately treat the sensation of the pain.
Almost everything on your to-do list is going to be a lot harder with a pulled chest muscle. You need to give yourself a break from nearly everything. You can’t even carry in the groceries or haul around a laundry basket.
If your loved ones owe you a favor, now’s the time to cash it in.
Delegate responsibilities and give yourself enough time to rest your chest muscles.
A Proper Diet and Adequate Hydration
Muscles need protein, water, and electrolytes to repair themselves. Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of protein throughout the day, and drink plenty of water. Choose a healthy, low-sugar electrolyte beverage to replenish the mineral content of your muscles and help your body hold onto hydration.
If you use a post-workout recovery supplement, it might be a good idea to continue using it while you’re resting up. These supplements often contain ingredients that support muscle hydration, which is crucial for the healing process.
Many people with pulled muscles will benefit from massage therapy. Massage improves circulation, boosts endorphins, and helps to stimulate the body’s healing processes.
If your muscle is significantly injured, a massage will probably make it feel worse. If you’re a few days out from the injury, a massage might give your muscles a push in the right direction.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help provide temporary relief but use them sparingly. These products aren’t designed for long-term use and can cause a laundry list of harmful and potentially damaging side effects when over ingested.
Many people with pulled muscles find that pain relief topicals are a better solution. Since they target the affected area and begin to work within minutes, they provide rapid and predictable relief exactly where they’re needed most.
Our Pain Relief Topicals Can Help
Hempvana’s topicals are exceptionally helpful for support in managing the discomfort of pulled muscles. They can be massaged into the chest muscles as often as needed and effectively combat muscle pain through the skin’s surface.
Use Hempvana in conjunction with rest and a proper diet. Hempvana can help support treatment for painful symptoms, but only rest and balanced nutrition will encourage your muscles to heal.
Intercostal Pain Syndromes – Musculoskeletal Sports and Spine Disorders | Springer Link
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack | American Heart Association
Weight training: Do’s and don’ts of proper technique | Mayo Clinic
Maintaining Good Posture | American Chiropractic Association
How much protein do you need every day? | Harvard Health