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-   -   Pec minor injury? (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5559)

Nicholas Wyss 07-03-2010 03:44 PM

Pec minor injury?
Hello, this is my first post on these forums. They seem to have a lot of good information. I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me concerning an injury.

I began working on bodyweight training about 3 months ago. I was basically doing handstands, L-sits, beginning planche progressions, and beginning back lever progressions.

I was able to hold a frog stand for a minute pretty easily when I began, so I decided to try tuck planches. I was able to do 10 second holds of these, although I had trouble getting my feet and shins very far away from the ground. As I improved on these I began leaning forward more, so that my arms were no longer perpindicular with the floor. Probably 3 weeks into working on these about twice a week, I felt a twinge in my chest. It didn't hurt too much at first, but it began to hurt more. For about the next month, I worked on handstands and L-sits, and I didn't do any planches or back levers. After the month, I tried doing the tuck planche again. I was able to get into the same position as before and hold it pretty well, but after I finished I had a throbbing pain under my left pec.

I continued to work L-sits and handstands for about the last month, but I can still feel the pain in my chest. Specifically I can feel it any time I depress my shoulders. It seems to be mostly in the top half of my pec, and I can feel it in my shoulder as well. Just guessing from the origin/insertion, I am guessing this is my pec minor. Does this seem right?

I am kind of concerned because it has been probably 2 months since the injury and it still doesn't feel any better. I am afraid I actually tore it, and might need surgery.

The other thing I thought may have occurred is that the pec minor contraction of the tuck planche pulled so hard on the points of attachment that it cracked one of my ribs. I am not sure how likely this may be, but I broke a rib once before, from an impact though, and it took several months to heal.

So, any thoughts on my self-diagnoses?
Is it possible that working handstands and L-sits is impeding my recovery? (I feel no pain at all when I do these).
Are there any other exercises I should try to work in to help me out?

Steven Low 07-03-2010 06:49 PM

Sounds like possibly a pec minor strain.


That will help you out.

Whaty you want to do specifically for some eccentrics for that is to stand up next to a table or chair with your shoulder depressed all the way. ONce you put some weight onto the arm but not enough to cause pain and then slowly let your shoulder girdle raise under pressure.

That should put eccentric contraction on pec minor which should help heal it up.

Have you tried doing any soft tissue work such as ART on the area at all? How about around the shoulder? Any tender spots?

Nicholas Wyss 07-04-2010 09:30 AM

Thanks for those links. I will try to exercise it with eccentrics with low enough weight so it doesn't hurt.

I have tried feeling around my chest and shoulder to massage it. I can't really find any place where it feels tender though. It feels the same as the other side. Maybe I am just having trouble getting underneath the pec major. I have not done any ART, not really sure where I would do it.

One other thing, sometimes if I am sitting in a chair with armrests which elevate my shoulders, it hurts the left one when I get up, even though the shoulder is just being depressed passively by gravity. Maybe there is still some eccentric contraction I'm just not aware of though.

Steven Low 07-04-2010 03:26 PM

Hmmm poke under your clavicle... may be subclavius with some referred pain

Nicholas Wyss 07-06-2010 07:02 PM

I've been rubbing/massaging under and around the clavicle for the past couple days. It feels kinda tight on both sides, but I still can't pinpoint where the injury is, no real tenderness stands out. It's really annoying...I'll keep massaging it though.

Steven Low 07-07-2010 05:34 AM

Poke into other tissues around the area in the neck and shoulder and see if anything is tender there. Could be referred pain.

Nicholas Wyss 07-20-2010 08:03 PM

Hey, a little update. I have been doing the eccentric pec minor exercises, and I actually got the pec minor sore, I can palpate it and feel the soreness, but that's definitely not the part that hurts. For whatever reason, I can not find any part that is sore to touch.

What's strange is that I can feel the pain during passive scapular depression. Like I sit in my computer chair, which has armrests, and with my elbow on the armrest, my shoulder is elevated. When I sit up straight, I can feel pain just from the shoulder dropping, but the pain is, oddly enough, right underneath my pec. This again seems like pec minor right? During a passive depression pec minor still contracts slightly since it gets "tugged"?

I also noticed that when I am "hunched over," in spinal flexion, and actively depress my shoulders, it doesn't hurt. But when I stand up straight and push my chest out it hurts a little just to stand like that, and the pain increases if I actively depress the shoulder. This also seems like pec minor I think, since pushing my chest out pulls the scapula down and back, loading pec minor.

Maybe it's just some weird pull so I can't feel the pain, or maybe it's some sort of injury near the attachment point itself, maybe the costal cartilage or something?

It is beginning to hurt less, so hopefully I can begin planche training again soon.

Steven Low 07-21-2010 01:20 PM

Something is likely pressing on your brachial plexus or one of its branches.

Check your teres major/lats/external rotator area, and anterior and middle scalenes for tightness.

Apply some heat, massage then stretch them out.

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