Causes, Signs and Symptoms of Chest Muscle Strain

Chest muscle strain is experienced by numerous people today.  Although it is easy to manage and endure mild strains, a severe one can be a big problem in the performance of daily tasks.  Mild strains may sometimes to lead to even worse complications if not addressed immediately, and may even require surgery. The discomfort that one feels whenever a chest muscle strain occurs can greatly affect the person’s efforts lifestyle and work. Knowing the basic facts about this problem will greatly help you in avoiding it and seeking the right treatments should this occurs.

Chest muscle strain occurs when the muscles in the chest, as well as the tendons are affected or stressed. A strain on the chest muscles can be identified in three types. A mild strain can be experienced when the muscles are slightly pulled without tearing of muscles or tendon fibers.  Mild strain is identified by the loss of strength due to the tearing of muscles or tendons on the chest. Finally, severe chest strain is caused by the rupturing of the muscle- tendon- rib attachment due to overuse of the muscles or direct injury; this requires surgery for treatment.


The primary cause of chest muscle strain is the overuse of muscles and tendons in the chest area. This can happen if the person carries very heavy objects, performing rigorous exercises beyond one’s limits, or stress.  Another factor that can prompt strain is a violent injury or a very strong force applied in the chest area.

Signs and Symptoms

Chest muscle strain is often characterized by a pain in the body’s chest area.  Pain is also felt whenever the person attempts to move or stretch the arms; especially in a pushing movement.  Muscles spasms and loss of strength is also a common sign of a chest muscle strain. In severe cases, the strain can cause swelling around the injured area. When you hear or feel a cracking sound when you press your fingers in your chest, this means that the muscles and tendons are torn.  Using x-ray can help better identify the chest strain .

Chest massage and hot or cold compress can be used to treat strain.However, medical attention is more advisable especially in a severe chest muscle strain.