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Experienced strain in pectoral muscle, chest pain and tingling sensation in torso. Any suggestion?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10460 Questions

Back in 2007 during a weightlifting session for football practice, I experienced a slight tear/strain of my left pectoral muscle. I immediately felt a strong pain on my chest and a tingling/numbing sensation up and down the left side of my torso. This was in high school and the only 'medical professional' on hand was our team's sports doc. At first he wasn't sure what it was but was able to tell me with almost certainty what had happened. He said that it was only a slight tear and no further medical attention was needed. I stopped working out my chest and went very light during practice for almost 3 months straight. After that I was able to regain most of my strength and continue with my weightlifting. Years later at 23 years old, I still feel a slight pain whenever I work my chest extensively. It is usually weak and non-impeding in my workouts but its there none the less. It is rare but I have also experienced a bigger and more direct pain during some workouts, at which point I would stop and let it rest for about a week. It emanates from the inside of my pec nearest to the sternum starting from the bottom and almost all the way to the top. I am wondering exactly what type of strain i experience and if the fact that the pain comes and goes after these years is a sign of needing more medical attention. I never had it looked out by a doctor and was only told to stay off of it for the 3 months mentioned earlier. I am otherwise a very healthy male at 5'10, 192 lbs, and 8% body fat.

Any help or information is greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
Posted Sat, 27 Oct 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
From your description, it seems that you suffered a mild tear of the muscle fibers which healed spontaneously on adequate rest. But the fibrosis must have formed in that place which again causes a pain whenever you do a heavy or prolonged exercise.
An MRI of the area will help in determining the presence of any soft tissue abnormalities in the area. Most of the times such mild pain can be taken care of with hot fomentation and doing adequate stretching and warm up exercises before the actual exercise. You can take the help of a physiotherapist for appropriate muscle strengthening exercises.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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