Regain your strength & reclaim your power after chest muscle injury
If you’ve ever experienced chest muscle injury, you’ll be all too familiar with the physical toll it can have on your day-to-day life. But then there’s the emotional toll too: debilitating injury or chronic pain can deplete your confidence and make you feel powerless.
That’s why it’s so very important to understand the aftermath of chest muscle injury and give voice to your experience – so you can feel invincible again, sooner.
How does chest muscle injury manifest?
Breasts themselves don’t have muscles. Rather, they are mammary glands made up of fat cells, tissue and ligaments. Even so, being the sensitive spots they are, it’s very possible you’ll experience breast pain if you strain the chest muscles beneath them.
Your breasts may feel tender or you might experience swelling, soreness or aching during exercise. Your breasts or chest area might appear bruised, and you’ll probably notice a loss of strength and movement.
What does it mean for your body?
Your chest muscles – pectoralis major and minor – cover a pretty vast portion of your upper torso. Familiarly termed the pecs, they attach under your shoulder and reach right across to your sternum.
When we talk about chest muscle strain, we’re describing a tear to the pectoralis major muscle. While pectoralis minor muscle strains are technically possible, they’re far less common.
There are plenty of ways to strain your pecs. They’re the muscles involved in lifting or pushing heavy objects (like people, for example), which means they’re particularly prone to injury in high-contact sports like Aussie Rules football.
You might also sustain a pec injury in training, while bench pressing or performing any exercise involving weights. Significant trauma in the form of a high-impact knock or fall might also be the culprit for a strained pec.
The road to recovery
It’s important you speak to a medical professional if you have an inkling you’ve strained a pec muscle. Only an expert will be able to accurately grade your injury, which will dictate what recovery looks like for you.
The higher the grade, the more serious the need for medical intervention, which might even include surgery – so it’s important to take your breast and chest pain seriously. That said, a full rupture of the pec muscle is unlikely in most cases.
In the first couple of days post-injury, you will need to treat the site as you would any sporting injury. Ice the muscle to combat swelling and rest up to give your body time to respond to the acute trauma without any extra exertion.
Next, following the direction of a physio or other health professional, you will reintroduce gentle movement. Your physio will instruct you on at-home exercises you can perform to rebuild your strength.
This is a delicate balance: you want to restore as much movement as possible early on without pushing yourself too far, and potentially worsening the injury, which is why professional medical advice is key to successfully navigating this phase of recovery. If you neglect this portion of recovery, you put yourself at higher risk of re-straining the muscle in the future.
Once you’ve regained your full range of pain-free movement, you’re considered rehabilitated and you’ll be able to return to the activities you love.
When to take breast pain seriously
Our rule of thumb: all pain that makes you uncomfortable, interferes with your performance or gnaws at your confidence when on the move is pain that’s worth investigating!
Ignoring muscle pain especially, and continuing to play/work/exert yourself while in pain, can prolong your injury and lead to poorer recovery outcomes.
We’re here for you
We’ve covered the physical side of recovery here and the practical steps you can take to ensure the best outcomes – but a significant emotional cost often accompanies a significant injury.
Being sidelined from the work, sport or other activity you love can be incredibly disempowering. For many active people, their sport or profession underpins their identity, and when injury strikes it can incite a genuine sense of grief.
That’s why at Boob Armour we believe it’s vital to have conversations around breast pain and muscle injury out in the open. So many Australian women will relate to this struggle at some point in their lives, yet breast health is a topic that simply doesn’t get enough airtime. To anyone out there in pain, we see you and we’re here with you.
Boob Armour exists to minimise injury before it happens – but also to protect you post-rehabilitation when you’re ready to take to the field, return to work or get active again. Our protective lightweight inserts are designed to counteract inflammation and soreness, so you can return to feeling indomitable ASAP.
Protect your breasts and reclaim your power. Purchase your own Boob Armour inserts today.