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Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hey, I finally had a chance to hit the range yesterday (its winter here) and I had to quit early due to this nagging pain in my chest. At the end of last season, I had this muscle pain just below my right nipple, if you will . This is after not swinging a club will full force in a few months. I thought it would heal up, but apparently not. It was killing me towards the end of my session yesterday. If I chunk it really good, I guess I can pull that muscle?

Has anyone else ever had such an injury? You would think that a pulled muscle would have healed itself by now?
post #2 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

I had a similar injury a couple years ago. Thinking it was just a lightly pulled muscle, I kept playing hurt for about a month (playing both golf and tennis) but it got worse, so I didn't do anything for another month. Although I could still feel it slightly, I started hitting golf balls again but that quickly made the pain flare up again. It then started getting more painful even when I wasn't doing anything. When it started keeping me awake at night unable to get comfortable, I was actually wondering if I had cracked a rib or something so I finally went to the doctor and did x-rays and an MRI, with the diagnosis that it was a "chest wall trauma". The bad news wasn't there wasn't really anything they could do about it other than prescribe rest. The doc indicated that in that area of the chest wall are a lot of muscles and ligaments, and since that part of the body is constantly moving (even just breathing) it takes a long time to heal. I went on high doses of ibuprofen to control inflammation and stopped the sports for about 3-4 months. I waited until I didn't feel any pain when doing normal movements, then waited a full additional month before swinging a club. I've been OK now for the last 2 years, but occasionally feel a slight twinge in the same old spot - when I feel it I stop doing golf again for a couple weeks and let it disappear.
post #3 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

Originally Posted by PingGKEN View Post
Hey, I finally had a chance to hit the range yesterday (its winter here) and I had to quit early due to this nagging pain in my chest. At the end of last season, I had this muscle pain just below my right nipple, if you will . This is after not swinging a club will full force in a few months. I thought it would heal up, but apparently not. It was killing me towards the end of my session yesterday. If I chunk it really good, I guess I can pull that muscle?

Has anyone else ever had such an injury? You would think that a pulled muscle would have healed itself by now?
Hopefully you've got a couple of months before prime golf weather to heal it. Maybe a doctors visit is in order. He may be able to zero in on some helpful actions to take.

Good luck. Injuries preventing play suck outright....I'm dealing with a bum left knee right now...still a couple weeks out from playing.

I had a buddy that pulled a groin muscle....it was forever before he was able to golf pain free. Some areas are hard to isolate...thus hard to heal swiftly. I suspect a chest injury is in this category.
post #4 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

It's possible that you have trigger points (knots of muscle cells that are continually contracted) in some of your pectoral muscle. Often muscles develop trigger points in response to injury in the area. These things don't go away unless treated. Try putting some thumb pressure on various points around your nipple, below it and to the outside, looking for some painful spots. Also between ribs just below the nipple. Also good to look at the book, The Trigger Point Manual by Clair Davies. Or see a sports massage specialist, one who does things like neuromuscular therapy, active release, or stripping.

I'm no medical professional, but this helped me come back from some kind of shoulder/rotator cuff injury. I was flat on my back for a couple of months, but I've been as good as new for a year. I don't hold back with the weights either. (By the way, the blessing of the injury is that I learned to swing a club using my body rather than my arms/shoulders!)
post #5 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

Originally Posted by aedoue View Post
It's possible that you have trigger points (knots of muscle cells that are continually contracted) in some of your pectoral muscle. Often muscles develop trigger points in response to injury in the area. These things don't go away unless treated. Try putting some thumb pressure on various points around your nipple, below it and to the outside, looking for some painful spots. Also between ribs just below the nipple. Also good to look at the book, The Trigger Point Manual by Clair Davies. Or see a sports massage specialist, one who does things like neuromuscular therapy, active release, or stripping.

I'm no medical professional, but this helped me come back from some kind of shoulder/rotator cuff injury. I was flat on my back for a couple of months, but I've been as good as new for a year. I don't hold back with the weights either. (By the way, the blessing of the injury is that I learned to swing a club using my body rather than my arms/shoulders!)

A second vote for this book (The Trigger Point manual) which I also have. Your problem could be the scalenes muscles which are tight on most people and refer pain particularly to the pec area. The book shows how to massage and release those trigger points and show what else could refer pain inot that area.
post #6 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

I've found that my acupuncturist is much better at picking up on trigger points than any doctor. Mine also does deep tissue massage.

I could see the muscles in the chest being very hard to stretch out properly because there are so many going all different ways. I've found stretching is really key to recovering from any muscular injury.
post #7 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

anything in the chest is going to take a fair bit of time to heal at least 2 months to heal properly. no lifting, swinging, violent movements. I had a strain when pikking up 24 inch concrete blocks one w each hand. carried about 80 of them 50 feet. Not impossible but Im not in constructiion either im a desk jockey, so the shock caused a strain so bad,,, i thought it was heart related. took me 2 months of nada to heal.

im not a Doctor but I play one on thesandtrap.com
post #8 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

Originally Posted by TheNatural View Post
,,, i thought it was heart related. took me 2 months of nada to heal.
Interesting. The Trigger Point Manual states that there is a trigger point under the right nipple (not the left side where the heart is), between the ribs just below the pecs, that will cause irregular heart beat. I didn't mention it in the last post because PingGKEN hadn't complained of it.
post #9 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

When I first learned golf I pulled my intercostal muscle I forget what it was called now, It hurt so bad to golf but I pushed through on the weekends, It took over 2 months to heal and made it hard to breath
post #10 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

Hi All,

I am also facing same problem now. I feel pain under the right nipple and is very painful when sitting up from laying down.

I visitted a doctor and he gave muscle relaxant and its not effective.

From your experience, did you see any improvement in ur injury? or I have to give up golf all the way?

What is the right treatment for this type of injury?

Thanks,
Lalit
post #11 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

Originally Posted by PingGKEN View Post
Hey, I finally had a chance to hit the range yesterday (its winter here) and I had to quit early due to this nagging pain in my chest. At the end of last season, I had this muscle pain just below my right nipple, if you will . This is after not swinging a club will full force in a few months. I thought it would heal up, but apparently not. It was killing me towards the end of my session yesterday. If I chunk it really good, I guess I can pull that muscle?

Has anyone else ever had such an injury? You would think that a pulled muscle would have healed itself by now?

Could be an intercostal muscle. They are thin like cardboard and heal slowly. Hurt like heck too. Likely, you have just reinjured it over and over without giving it time to heal. If you have not seen you PCF, now would be the time to do it. Often a steroid would be given as an anti-inflammatory. Or just 800 mg Motrin three times a day perhaps. Unfortunately, rest will likely be a suggestion from your doc. I would see what they have to say.
post #12 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

Dealing with this garbage now, too. Mine is my Latissimus Dorsi on my rear side. It causes pain in the back and front and into the inner elbow. Stretch and massage those trigger points. Ice after golf and moist heat occasionally.
post #13 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

A great exercise I've started doing can help with these muscles.

After stretching, stand back to a wall, feet and head pointing forward. Without moving your head, turn your chest so that your palms are placed flat on the wall to your side, holding for just a few seconds. Release and then rest. Then do the other side. I do a few sets of these every other day to help stretch/strengthen these muscles. This is especially helpful for my left side, since as a righty, it's not my strong side.
post #14 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

I somehow hurt both of my elbows last year where my tricep attaches to my elbow. I was bowling and playing golf a lot at the time and it really hurt during both sports. I ended up being sent to a sports therapist and he put me on a low dose steroid for two weeks and told me to go easy on them for six. I did as he said and now they are pain free.
post #15 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

A mistake many people make after suffering an injury, such as a pulled muscle, is that they don't perform any rehabilitation exercises during their time away from the course. A pulled muscle won't completely heal itself by virtue of just staying away from the course for awhile (although it is important). When you pass that initial stage of debilitation you need to slowly strengthen that part of your body again through various stretches and strength building exercises.

Try searching the web for fitness sites or exerices that strengthen the chest muscle and increases its flexibility. I had a back problem a few months back and found sites like www.livestrong.com, www.coreperformance.com, www.bodybuilding.com (even though I'm not a bodybuilder), etc.

Also, my dad bought me this great fitness mat that I used to recover from my back injury.



Apparently Natalie Gulbis is one of their endorsers. Oddly enough when I went to check out this site after my dad bought me the back one I found out they have a golf one too. I ordered it a little while back and i've been using that too to keep my back from flaring up again.

Hope this helps at all.
post #16 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

I do get a similar type of pain as you do - drives me nuts. But I also have lower back pain so its two aleve before a round anyway. Rest generally works, but it just happens to be a type of injury that is hard to isolate to "rest" it. Your test results rule out any serious conditions, so you could either play with the pain, or - yikes- quit till you're better...
post #17 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

Yes, soft-tissue injuries can take a long time to heal. But if you haven't already, and considering how long it's taking to heal, you should definitely go see a doctor just to make 100% sure that the injury is not a manifstation of something else.
post #18 of 32

Re: Pulled chest muscle? (Still hurts after a few months!?)

Originally Posted by Clambake View Post
I had a similar injury a couple years ago. Thinking it was just a lightly pulled muscle, I kept playing hurt for about a month (playing both golf and tennis) but it got worse, so I didn't do anything for another month. Although I could still feel it slightly, I started hitting golf balls again but that quickly made the pain flare up again. It then started getting more painful even when I wasn't doing anything. When it started keeping me awake at night unable to get comfortable, I was actually wondering if I had cracked a rib or something so I finally went to the doctor and did x-rays and an MRI, with the diagnosis that it was a "chest wall trauma". The bad news wasn't there wasn't really anything they could do about it other than prescribe rest. The doc indicated that in that area of the chest wall are a lot of muscles and ligaments, and since that part of the body is constantly moving (even just breathing) it takes a long time to heal. I went on high doses of ibuprofen to control inflammation and stopped the sports for about 3-4 months. I waited until I didn't feel any pain when doing normal movements, then waited a full additional month before swinging a club. I've been OK now for the last 2 years, but occasionally feel a slight twinge in the same old spot - when I feel it I stop doing golf again for a couple weeks and let it disappear.
ouch that sounds painful i pulled mine when doing bench press and man that hurt
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