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  1. #1
    Mark Eighteen Brozef's Avatar
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    Chest pain - doesn't seem like pec strain

    Been having chest pain for months, right side only. My physician chalked it up to a grade 2 pec strain, said no chest exercises for 4 weeks. This pain appeared DAYS after weight training. It did not occur while training.

    No improvement for months. I'm starting to doubt the diagnosis for these reasons:


    1. No pain contracting the pectoral muscle through it's range of motion. None.

    2. Deep breathing causes minor pain.

    3. The most pain comes from raising my arm - pain starts when holding my arm out straight to all the way up vertical. Also very painful hanging - like when doing pull-ups.

    4. Firmly pushing on the site causes pain. It is centered on a rib (unsure if it's 3 or 4).



    Symptoms seem much more like costochondritis except that:

    * I'm not over 40
    * I'm not a woman
    * It's on the right side


    Basically I'm just looking for ideas. I'm not going to blow more money going to the doctor if I don't have to. It would also be nice to have some ideas to talk about if I do go back to see my physician.

    Will rep for any insight.
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  2. #2
    Registered User LuWellness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brozef View Post
    Been having chest pain for months, right side only. My physician chalked it up to a grade 2 pec strain, said no chest exercises for 4 weeks. This pain appeared DAYS after weight training. It did not occur while training.

    No improvement for months. I'm starting to doubt the diagnosis for these reasons:


    1. No pain contracting the pectoral muscle through it's range of motion. None.

    2. Deep breathing causes minor pain.

    3. The most pain comes from raising my arm - pain starts when holding my arm out straight to all the way up vertical. Also very painful hanging - like when doing pull-ups.

    4. Firmly pushing on the site causes pain. It is centered on a rib (unsure if it's 3 or 4).



    Symptoms seem much more like costochondritis except that:

    * I'm not over 40
    * I'm not a woman
    * It's on the right side


    Basically I'm just looking for ideas. I'm not going to blow more money going to the doctor if I don't have to. It would also be nice to have some ideas to talk about if I do go back to see my physician.

    Will rep for any insight.
    Pectoralis minor / intercostal strain?

    Pectoralis minor is responsible for deep breathing, and connects to the shoulder blade. You said you have pain when hanging off something, the shoulder blade has to stabilize during any hanging movements.

    But you said no pain while contracting the pectoral muscles, leads me to believe it's not the pectoral muscles and maybe an intercostal muscle.

    How does stretching the pecs feel? Tight? Sore?
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  3. #3
    Mark Eighteen Brozef's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LuWellness View Post
    Pectoralis minor / intercostal strain?

    Pectoralis minor is responsible for deep breathing, and connects to the shoulder blade. You said you have pain when hanging off something, the shoulder blade has to stabilize during any hanging movements.

    But you said no pain while contracting the pectoral muscles, leads me to believe it's not the pectoral muscles and maybe an intercostal muscle.

    How does stretching the pecs feel? Tight? Sore?
    I only get a little pain from very deep breathing. Hanging causes the most pain.

    Stretching the pecs feel normal as can be. I actually did a chest workout after posting the OP and it was basically pain free.

    I think you may be right about the intercostal muscle strain.

    Here (yellow circle) is where the pain is:




    It's very hard to tell if it's a rib or in between a rib though.
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  4. #4
    mANTIQUE RustyPipes's Avatar
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    Could well be some cartilage inflammation, particularly if it hasn't improved for a months. Cartilage doesn't get much in the way of any blood flow, so the healing time is astronomical. My pain was centered right where yours was, and would hurt if I pushed, at least in the earlier stages. I'd also get a "pop" sound upon stretching or shifting my rib cage sometimes.

    I pretty much had to self-diagnose it as costrochrondritis, as most doctors didn't really have an answer. And yes, men get it - lifters in particular. I had it for about 4-5 years, and got it from lifting, and had it so bad early on that I couldn't lie down on my back, else it felt like my heart would rattle out of my chest. Your issue doesn't sound that severe - and congrats on that. I basically had to abandon lifting for quite a few years. There's a good costo thread on here that should be of help. And even if it isn't specifically costo, the treatment would likel be the same - rest, some light stretching, maybe NSAID's. It gradually fades away until you almost miss having the pain. PM me if you have any other questions or whatnot.
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  5. #5
    Mark Eighteen Brozef's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RustyPipes View Post
    Could well be some cartilage inflammation, particularly if it hasn't improved for a months. Cartilage doesn't get much in the way of any blood flow, so the healing time is astronomical. My pain was centered right where yours was, and would hurt if I pushed, at least in the earlier stages. I'd also get a "pop" sound upon stretching or shifting my rib cage sometimes.

    I pretty much had to self-diagnose it as costrochrondritis, as most doctors didn't really have an answer. And yes, men get it - lifters in particular. I had it for about 4-5 years, and got it from lifting, and had it so bad early on that I couldn't lie down on my back, else it felt like my heart would rattle out of my chest. Your issue doesn't sound that severe - and congrats on that. I basically had to abandon lifting for quite a few years. There's a good costo thread on here that should be of help. And even if it isn't specifically costo, the treatment would likel be the same - rest, some light stretching, maybe NSAID's. It gradually fades away until you almost miss having the pain. PM me if you have any other questions or whatnot.
    I often get pops an cracks in that area when moving and shifting. Now that I think of it, I think I've had minor (but long lasting) pain in that area in the past.

    It sucks to have to give up upper body lifts though. Good thing I'm mostly into building legs.

    Thanks bro, I'll look for that thread.
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  6. #6
    i'm better than you LykAg6's Avatar
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    This is a big bump, but I'd like to know what happened OP. And that photo is obviously too old to see now as to what point of the chest it is at.

    I've recently experienced something similar but on the left side, around the outer pec possibly the pec minor intercostal strain. Interestingly enough, I had intercostal strain further down my chest below it on my rib cages which subsided this past week but this chest thing hasn't.

    In bed last night I started thinking and trying to self diagnose and pin point the discomfort and got my heart racing and I thought i was going to have a heart attack. Gonna go see a doctor tmoro and get xrays or whatever.

    Would like to hear from OP though cause like you, this happened days after training (Monday chest, Wed back, discomfort started somewhere around Saturday or Sunday) and then this past week I decided to train the usual as it wasn't too bad but now I feel facked.
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  7. #7
    Mark Eighteen Brozef's Avatar
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    It was costochondritis and/or intercostal strain.

    It's actually never fully healed and easy to strain again. I have several points of chronic pain along both sides of my sternum.
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  8. #8
    i'm better than you LykAg6's Avatar
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    Geeez that's rough man. I can't imagine having this forever. This is the second time I've had some sort of rib cage "bruising" or subtle pain now all in the past few months. Very annoying just even when sitting down.
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  9. #9
    Registered User ReboundReps's Avatar
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    I once got diagnosed with an intercostal strain, but it turned out to be more of a serratus anterior injury (the pain kicked in about 12 hours after the gym session).

    I had quite a lot of pain when breathing, can't quite remember what sort of arm movements hurt, but I think it really didn't like any kind of shoulder retraction.
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