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    ksagle's Avatar
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    Question Pectoralis Minor Injury?

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    Hey everyone,

    I think I've pulled something in my chest - from what I can gather online I'm fairly certain it's my pec minor. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this before and how long it took to heal? I'm a competitive curler and I can barely sweep at this point.

    It doesn't hurt when I'm just sitting. I can feel it basically as soon as I lift my arm up and doing any kind of pull up / pushup / sweeping seems to be out of the question.

    Also - any tips for speeding up the healing process?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksagle View Post
    Hey everyone,

    I think I've pulled something in my chest - from what I can gather online I'm fairly certain it's my pec minor. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this before and how long it took to heal? I'm a competitive curler and I can barely sweep at this point.

    It doesn't hurt when I'm just sitting. I can feel it basically as soon as I lift my arm up and doing any kind of pull up / pushup / sweeping seems to be out of the question.

    Also - any tips for speeding up the healing process?

    All depends on the severity of the strain. You will wanna do unweighted, or if that is still quite painful, passive ROM work to prevent adhesions and excessive scar tissue while it heals. Ultrasound therapy to the injured muscle can help speed the healing process. Add in light weight work as soon as you can. Work to the pain, but not through it. Keep up on the healthy eating. Hope that helps. Good recovery!
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 09-11-2013 at 07:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksagle View Post
    Hey everyone,

    I think I've pulled something in my chest - from what I can gather online I'm fairly certain it's my pec minor. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this before and how long it took to heal? I'm a competitive curler and I can barely sweep at this point.

    It doesn't hurt when I'm just sitting. I can feel it basically as soon as I lift my arm up and doing any kind of pull up / pushup / sweeping seems to be out of the question.

    Also - any tips for speeding up the healing process?
    Another thing you should look at is the possibility that it may be weakness of the subscapularis, teres major and minor and a lengthened posterior delt and trapezius. Typically this is caused by too much push and not enough pull. You may need to have some A.R.T done to release adhesions like Neck Hammer says and I would recommend you go to a chiropractor or RMT to have that work done as well as doing some serious range of motion activation.

    An impingement in the shoulder that is caused by a weak upper posterior chain can mimic a pec minor strain and is incredibly uncomfortable. So much so that it will wake you up at night. Typically this is caused by the glenohumeral joint being compressed and pulled forward by tight pecs and your anterior deltoid.

    A good stretch you can try is to lie face down on the floor with your arms out to the sides. Bring 1 arm in to a push up position and rotate your chest off the floor by doing a 1 sided push up. Does that make sense?

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    On a related note, Iron Will and Neckhammer, I'd love your opinions on how to minimize the inflexibility caused by anatomical kyphosis. My dad and his dad were both super turtley (neither did any serious lifting), but I have had very limited success from doing hundreds of shoulder dislocations and can't come really close to holding a bar in a sufficiently posterior position to do a front squat because of it. Thanks for any suggestions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    On a related note, Iron Will and Neckhammer, I'd love your opinions on how to minimize the inflexibility caused by anatomical kyphosis. My dad and his dad were both super turtley (neither did any serious lifting), but I have had very limited success from doing hundreds of shoulder dislocations and can't come really close to holding a bar in a sufficiently posterior position to do a front squat because of it. Thanks for any suggestions.
    When you're doing your front squat are you having issues getting your elbows up high enough? I'm don't think I'm picturing your current posture correctly.

    As for kyphosis I would recommend wall angels , Y's and I's and band pull aparts. Y's and I's are pretty easy to google as are pull aparts but wall angels might not be so easy. Stand with your back and butt on a wall with your arms above your head. Keep your wrists and elbows on the wall and essentially do a pull up. Keep your wrists and and elbows on the wall and slide your elbows down toward your hips. The key is to maintain constant contact with the wall at the wrist and at the elbow.

    Another exercise is neck pushes as pulls. So actively press your palm into your forehead for a 10 count, rest and repeat. Because your issue my be "poke neck" chin sliding forward its best to activate the posterior muscles first so both hands on the back of your head and push your head I to your hands for a 10 count. Rest and repeat.

    And for activation and mobility in the thoracic spine opening and closing the chest plus rinsing the spine are a couple of my favorites. You may not be able to find those either and they're a little difficult to explain. Try googling then first and let me know what you come up with.

    Other than that chiro. Check for degeneration, fish oils and magnesium.

    I've got a full body warm up that I teach my clients. It take a about 20 minutes or so to complete but it opens all the joints and gets everything moving and ready for loading. I should record it and post it somewhere but I'm not that tech savvy. I'm lucky to know how to type on my IPhone and hit send half the time! I guess I could ask my wife....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    On a related note, Iron Will and Neckhammer, I'd love your opinions on how to minimize the inflexibility caused by anatomical kyphosis. My dad and his dad were both super turtley (neither did any serious lifting), but I have had very limited success from doing hundreds of shoulder dislocations and can't come really close to holding a bar in a sufficiently posterior position to do a front squat because of it. Thanks for any suggestions.
    Very general protocol would be:

    Mobilization of the thoracic segments with a roller. So yeah, that part is just like it sounds. Get that roller under the thoracic region and just hit it for at least 20 slow reps putting yourself into as much intersegmental extension as is comfortable.

    Follow that with a CMT (chiropractic manipulative therapy).

    Next set it all with some of the wall angels iron mentions. I tell people to start with a static press translating the head back and pressing every part of the arm against the wall as hard as possible (while still at 90/90 degrees) for 10 seconds for 10 reps before moving on to the actual movement portion which is usually for at least 10 reps. Right after the adjustment I'll have em do the 10/10 scheme for 3 sets. However, for homework its a grease the groove activity the way I prescribe it to be done several times throughout the day.

    Then of course I recommend lifting heavy shit with sufficient focus on pull work. But you got that part down .

    While you say yours is anatomical, I've made the observation that most grapplers have this persistent issue. Especially those who did a lot of it through their formative years. I'm one of em. I've improved mine, but its a long process, and the sad fact is that sometimes you just hit the wall as to how much you can get back. I really do believe that lifting weights with proper form is one of the most important aspects of the long term fix though.

    Oh, a common issue that comes with hyperkyphosis in the thoracic is anterior head carriage and hypolordosis in the neck. Thats why an important part of the wall angel is to keep the head neutral and translate back to activate the muscles in the back of the neck. If you do have a hypolordotic curve in the cervicals (really can only tell with x-ray), you can do static traction for 20 minutes/day for about 3-6 months. It's a real pain and I get pretty poor compliance on that recommendation, but its the only protocol that really changes the degree of curvature that I have seen. You can buy a device for this like the dakota traction device or you can make something up at home. A lot of times I'll recommend a rolled up towel under the neck while hanging the head over the back of your bed. Probably not as effective as a device, but its a place to start.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 09-12-2013 at 08:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    When you're doing your front squat are you having issues getting your elbows up high enough? I'm don't think I'm picturing your current posture correctly.
    Wow. I shouldn't type so late in the evening. I meant overhead squat. I can front squat/clean no problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    As for kyphosis I would recommend wall angels , Y's and I's and band pull aparts. Y's and I's are pretty easy to google as are pull aparts but wall angels might not be so easy. Stand with your back and butt on a wall with your arms above your head. Keep your wrists and elbows on the wall and essentially do a pull up. Keep your wrists and and elbows on the wall and slide your elbows down toward your hips. The key is to maintain constant contact with the wall at the wrist and at the elbow.
    Yeah, I get pretty frustrated with the wall angels. I'll check the Y's and I's out. I've even tried what I think is called "glide kipping" where you kip without doing a pull-up to ballistically push the arms back while overhead. Like I said, very limited success. I can get to the point that I can get my pinkies on the powerlifting rings when I low-bar squat if I really get loosened up (not that that's great flexibility, I have a very short wingspan), but I can't overhead squat without the bar traveling way forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    Another exercise is neck pushes as pulls. So actively press your palm into your forehead for a 10 count, rest and repeat. Because your issue my be "poke neck" chin sliding forward its best to activate the posterior muscles first so both hands on the back of your head and push your head I to your hands for a 10 count. Rest and repeat.
    Wouldn't that be a cervical issue? I'm definitely curved down lower, in the thoracic. I'll still give this a shot and mess around with it though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    And for activation and mobility in the thoracic spine opening and closing the chest plus rinsing the spine are a couple of my favorites. You may not be able to find those either and they're a little difficult to explain. Try googling then first and let me know what you come up with.
    I'll look into those.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    Other than that chiro. Check for degeneration, fish oils and magnesium.
    I don't do fish oil, but I do oily fish. Chelated magnesium has been one of my very few supplements for a long time now. Chiro's have checked me out and never said anything about degeneration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    I've got a full body warm up that I teach my clients. It take a about 20 minutes or so to complete but it opens all the joints and gets everything moving and ready for loading. I should record it and post it somewhere but I'm not that tech savvy. I'm lucky to know how to type on my IPhone and hit send half the time! I guess I could ask my wife....
    Yeah, I'd be interested to see it if you ever got around to recording it. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question in such depth.

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    Thanks guys! I'm going to give it a bit of time and see how it goes - hoping it's just a simple muscle strain and that it'll heal up on its own. Actually, I discovered that pushups don't hurt as much as I thought - pull ups on the other hand are not happening anytime soon! If in a week I don't see improvement I'll go see an RMT. Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Wow. I shouldn't type so late in the evening. I meant overhead squat. I can front squat/clean no problem.



    Yeah, I get pretty frustrated with the wall angels. I'll check the Y's and I's out. I've even tried what I think is called "glide kipping" where you kip without doing a pull-up to ballistically push the arms back while overhead. Like I said, very limited success. I can get to the point that I can get my pinkies on the powerlifting rings when I low-bar squat if I really get loosened up (not that that's great flexibility, I have a very short wingspan), but I can't overhead squat without the bar traveling way forward.



    Wouldn't that be a cervical issue? I'm definitely curved down lower, in the thoracic. I'll still give this a shot and mess around with it though.



    I'll look into those.



    I don't do fish oil, but I do oily fish. Chelated magnesium has been one of my very few supplements for a long time now. Chiro's have checked me out and never said anything about degeneration.



    Yeah, I'd be interested to see it if you ever got around to recording it. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question in such depth.
    No problem man. Trouble with over head squats can actually be more of an issue with your serratus being adhered to your lats so for that I would recommend an RMT. Getting this fixed sucks balls!! It could also be tightness in your triceps and sub scap, again RMT.

    Another thing you could do are bridges. Start on a wall by standing a couple feet away and reach back overhead to touch the wall with your fingers. Then as you get more mobility walk yourself down the wall further and further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Very general protocol would be:

    Mobilization of the thoracic segments with a roller. So yeah, that part is just like it sounds. Get that roller under the thoracic region and just hit it for at least 20 slow reps putting yourself into as much intersegmental extension as is comfortable.
    Yeah, this definitely gives me some better mobility when I actually do it. I guess the actually doing it part is the hard part. I have a connector for 6" PVC covered in duct tape that I like to roll on whilst sobbing and whimpering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Follow that with a CMT (chiropractic manipulative therapy).
    Damn my cheap health insurance...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Next set it all with some of the wall angels iron mentions. I tell people to start with a static press translating the head back and pressing every part of the arm against the wall as hard as possible (while still at 90/90 degrees) for 10 seconds for 10 reps before moving on to the actual movement portion which is usually for at least 10 reps. Right after the adjustment I'll have em do the 10/10 scheme for 3 sets. However, for homework its a grease the groove activity the way I prescribe it to be done several times throughout the day.
    I like the backward translation idea. I'll work that in too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Then of course I recommend lifting heavy shit with sufficient focus on pull work. But you got that part down .
    Well, it's not as heavy as I'd like it to be. What are you weighted chinning these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    While you say yours is anatomical, I've made the observation that most grapplers have this persistent issue. Especially those who did a lot of it through their formative years. I'm one of em. I've improved mine, but its a long process, and the sad fact is that sometimes you just hit the wall as to how much you can get back. I really do believe that lifting weights with proper form is one of the most important aspects of the long term fix though.
    I didn't do any real grappling until I was 24. But yeah, it's a guess that it's anatomical based on my family tree. And I'm not planning to ever join the circus as a contortionist, but I'd feel a lot better if I could overhead squat a damn empty bar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Oh, a common issue that comes with hyperkyphosis in the thoracic is anterior head carriage and hypolordosis in the neck. Thats why an important part of the wall angel is to keep the head neutral and translate back to activate the muscles in the back of the neck. If you do have a hypolordotic curve in the cervicals (really can only tell with x-ray), you can do static traction for 20 minutes/day for about 3-6 months. It's a real pain and I get pretty poor compliance on that recommendation, but its the only protocol that really changes the degree of curvature that I have seen. You can buy a device for this like the dakota traction device or you can make something up at home. A lot of times I'll recommend a rolled up towel under the neck while hanging the head over the back of your bed. Probably not as effective as a device, but its a place to start.
    Hmm. Sounds like a pretty serious time commitment. I'll start with the rolled up towel/head hang thing and think about the traction device. Thanks for your advice, brah.

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