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Bodybuilding & Pectoral Injuries

by
author image Miguel Cavazos
Miguel Cavazos is a photographer and fitness trainer in Los Angeles who began writing in 2006. He has contributed health, fitness and nutrition articles to various online publications, previously editing stand-up comedy and writing script coverage as a celebrity assistant. Cavazos holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from Texas Christian University.
Bodybuilding & Pectoral Injuries
Pectoral injuries damage the tendon connecting your pectoral to your humerus. Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

You lift heavy weight during bodybuilding workouts to build muscle mass. Orthopedia.com reports that the most traumatic pectoral tears occur in weight lifters or bodybuilders between ages 20 and 40 from doing eccentric pectoral contraction exercises like the bench press. According to the National Federation of Personal Trainers, starting from a stretched position and fully contracting your pectoral muscles against heavy weight increases your risk of pectoral injuries.

Inflammation

You may develop inflammation in the pectoralis major muscle tendon if you strain your pectorals. Pectoral inflammation may occur if you strain your pectoral muscles with forced repetitions during your bodybuilding workout. Using poor form during chest exercises like the bench press can also lead to inflammation. Symptoms include pain at the front of your arm or shoulder where these muscles meet your chest. You may experience pain if you try to bring your arm inward across your chest or rotate your arm inward against resistance.

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Rupture

Sportsinjuryclinic.net reports that pectoralis major tendon ruptures are common bodybuilding injuries that result from bench press exercises. Symptoms of this tendon injury include a sudden sharp pain in the front of your arm or shoulder. Pain and swelling may progress in these areas and produce symptoms similar to inflammation injuries. You may see a gap or lump in your pectoral muscle somewhere on your chest.

Treating Inflammation

Rest if you experience inflammation in your pectorals. Apply ice for 20 minutes three to eight times a day for two days if you have a lot of pain. Apply heat after the initial soreness of this injury subsides. A sport’s injury specialist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling. You may benefit from a rehabilitation program that helps strengthen your pectorals and avoid future injury. Sports massage techniques for your chest may provide relief and help speed up your recovery.

Treating Ruptures

Remove all resistance from your pectoral muscles to protect them from further injury. Apply ice to slow bleeding, reduce pain and inflammation. Apply light compression with elastic bandages to increase pressure inside the injury and reduce bleeding and swelling. Elevate your chest by sitting upright and sleeping in a reclined position to reduce blood flow to the injury. A sports injury physician may operate if you have a total pectoralis tendon rupture.

Prevention

Prevent pectoral injuries during bodybuilding workouts by warming up your pectoral muscles with very light weights before lifting heavy weights. Pectoral injuries are more likely to occur by lifting heavy weight with cold muscles. Lightly stretch your pectoral muscles after they are warm. Grasp a pole or the exterior corner of a wall and turn your torso away from the wall until you feel a light stretch. Hold for 15 seconds. Bodybuilding.com reports that using anabolic steroids for bodybuilding may increase your risk for pectoral injuries.

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References

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