In this episode: The large muscle of your chest is the pectoralis major. There is also a pectoralis minor. Both muscles can be injured and will present with different symptoms.
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Brief overview of the episode:
Pectoral injuries occur in most cases as result of an eccentric overload. This means the muscle is stretched while under a heavy load. By far the most common cause is lifting weights, particularly bench press. Other causes are sports, falls and high velocity accidents.
There are 2 pectoral muscles, pectoralis major and minor. Pectoralis major has 2 portions the clavicular head (which attaches to the collar bone) and the sternal head (which attaches to the sternum). Both portions function to produce force. Pectoralis minor runs from the top few ribs to the coricoid process (a part of the shoulder blade). Pec minor functions primarily as a scapular stabilizer but also works as an accessory muscle of breathing.
Pec major is more commonly injured. These injuries can range from minor strains to full ruptures. Pec minor can also be injured with minor strains being the most common. One way to tell a pec minor injury from pec major is that typically sneezing or forces inspiration/expiration cause increased pain. Pec major will often present with a visible defect.
Additional signs are bruising, swelling, weakness, muscle spasm and difficulty moving the arm or shoulder.
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