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how do you know if you have a muscle strain in the chest

How Do You Know If You Have a Muscle Strain in the Chest?

Having chest pain with the symptoms of breathing discomfort and a piercing feel can act as an alarming sign. Many most often relate this situation to a cardiac issue followed by a heart attack. But in actuality, not all chest aches indicate a heart problem and there are other underlying causes making that specific area painful. A strained muscle in the chest can mirror the pain aggravated by a cardiac abnormality. In such a situation, the point is, how do you know if you have a muscle strain in the chest? Read down thoroughly to get aware of the signs, symptoms, preventions, treatment and causes of chest muscle strain.

A Brief Perspective Of A Muscle Strain In The Chest

A muscle strain is synonymously called a pulled muscle. This takes place when the chest tendons or muscular fibres in that region are torn or overly stretched. A Chest is accumulated by a vast muscular arrangement that comprises serratus anterior, pectoralis and intercostals. A problem in any such muscle can cause breathing issues, instability in the upper body region and also hinder the arm to move freely. Further, it aggravates the pain in the chest that is severe exceeding the tolerance level.

Symptomatic Signals Of A Strained Chest Muscle

Early identification of a muscle strain is almost impossible owing to its similarity with cardiac issues. Therefore, many symptoms are prominent enough to judge whether the pain is linked to the heart or cropped up due to a chest strained muscle. Let’s have a look at these:

Restricted Range Of Pain

In a heart-related chest ache. The diameter of a pain reach is extended towards the back of the body, left arm and jaw of a mouth. In contrast, if there is a muscle strain, the range of pain is confined to a specific chest region. It becomes worse owing to a deep breath or a body movement.

Soreness And Swelling In The Muscle

A strained muscle causes soreness in the affected part. Even a mild chest pressing is intolerable and thus, this proves the existence of a muscular strain.

Limited Arm Movement

An affected arm or shoulder movement is a visible symptom from which you can get to know if you have a muscle strain in the chest or not. However, this can restrict arm lifting or movement substantially.

Difficulty In Doing Physical Activity

A muscle strain can affect all the exercises or activities that involve a chest movement. So, doing any one of them can escalate the pain.

Rule Out Dizziness Or Breath Shortness

A heart problem prominently signifies dizziness or breath shortness. On the other hand, this is not the case with a muscle strain and a chest pain in the absence of these two factors clearly points out a strain.

Appearance Of Bruises

In a highly critical muscle strain case, bruises start appearing around the affected area. 

What Causes Muscle To Strain?

Obviously; a muscle strain cannot come on its own. There are some reasons that trigger such abnormality to happen. What are these?

Overexerted Physical Activity

Physical activities are necessary in keeping the body fit. But, an overexerted activity that includes pushups, weight lifting or alike exercises without attending a warm-up session can cause strain in muscle.

Game Injuries

Athletic and intense gaming activity is more prone to activate muscle straining. Heavyweight lifters and golf or tennis players often complain about this.

Stressed Body Postures

A stressful sitting or standing position in a repetitive manner can stretch the chest muscle and that later on produces a strain in that area.

Abrupt Motion

A sudden jerk or body movement at a particular angle that put stress on the chest can bring on staining in the chest muscle.

No Rest After Workouts

Heavy workouts require the body to have an adequate amount of rest. Conversely, a non-resting position can favour muscle strain to occur.

Imbalanced Muscle Strengths

It sometimes happens when the chest muscles differ in strength from one another. Stronger muscles apply force to the weaker ones. As a result, weak chest muscles strain.

Underlying Factors behind A Chest Muscle Strain

A person’s daily working life preference when joined with several biomechanical factors causes chest muscle strain. When there is an application of excessive force on the chest region, the muscle structure behind it becomes torn or overstretched. In addition, this involves the chest area inflaming along with an acute paining sensation.

Muscle strain mostly happens in elderly age. With time, the strength of a muscular arrangement diminishes causing the muscles to weaken. A muscle deformity in old age is more at risk to catch strain effects even in the absence of any type of exertion.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Exercising preventive measures to avoid a strain from developing in the chest is essential. Instead of bearing severe pain or movement difficulty subsequently, consider some risk minimization factors for its prevention.

Warm Up Session

If you are fond of taking part in physical activities, it is necessary to prepare your body well to manage such workouts. However, a warm-up session regulates the muscular tissues’ blood flow and increases it to allow the body for carrying out heavy exercises.

Keep Your Body In A Right Posture

It is necessary for you to keep your body posture or form in the correct direction while doing sports or weight lifting. Negligence to this end can make you a victim of a chest muscle strain.

Go Step By Step

Exercise is good for health and should be maintained on a regular basis. It is advised to gradually progress through an exercise routine instead of making a tight schedule at the start.

Stretching Practice

Include a stretching practice off and on in your daily lifestyle. This will benefit in making your chest muscles flexible and ward off the chances of having a strain in it.

Proper Resting Duration

Workouts, irrespective of their intensity, require proper time for rest. This allows the stressed muscles to rebuild or repair in a significantly quicker mode.

Remedial Principles To Cure A Strain In The Chest Muscle

However, if you assess that you are having a strain in your chest muscle, you must apply some corrective measures as early as possible to combat such discomforting situation.

Have A Complete Rest

Keep away from activities that aggravate the pain and make it difficult for the chest muscle to repair.

Ice Treatment

The application of ice on the affected region works well in alleviating pain and inflammation. Use ice therapy repetitively for at least 15-20 minutes at the start.

Intake Painkillers

The use of effective painkillers like ibuprofen mitigates the pain or swelling in a relatively shorter time.

Wear Compression Bandage

A compression bandage or an alternate support garment helps in relieving pain effectively.


In the worst cases when muscle strain pain continues for a long time, ultimately, physiotherapy is the only solution. It not only makes the healing process quicker but helps in avoiding strains in the future.


A strained chest muscle undoubtedly can serve as a nightmare for many if it persists longer. It let everyone start thinking about having a cardiac issue. Your query for how do you know if you have a muscle strain in the chest has definitely got an answer. To maintain your well-being it is essential to signify the signs, symptoms and complete identification of a chest muscle injury. Read out more at Heath Care Grad to absorb interesting revelations.