How to Treat a Pulled Pectoral Muscle

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A pulled pectoral muscle should be treated immediately with ice, and after acute pain has subsided, use heat to warm up the area before stretching. Discover exercises for treating pulled muscles with help from a physical therapist in this free video on sports medicine and pulled pectoral muscles.

Part of the Video Series: Sports Medicine
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Tara Pollak, physical therapist at "Evolution Physical Therapy" here to teach you how to treat a pulled pectoral muscle. Now definitely immediately following the strain of the muscle, what you want to do is apply ice a minimum of ten minutes, a maximum of 20 minutes and you can do this three to four times a day. After three days go by and the pain is not acute any more, you can always use heat. That's going to help warm up the area before you stretch. You also want to make sure that you rest. Avoid any heavy lifting so that you don't aggravate the pulled muscle. Now after the acute discomfort is over with, you can also try and contact a skilled physical therapist and they can help you with any modalities to use to help heal the muscle as well as prescribe any exercises that will also help heal the muscle. One exercise I give to my patients, once the acute pain is over with is to apply a stretch to the pectoral muscle by lying on a foam roll. So I have Shonte lying on the foam roll here, I'm going to place her hand with her palm up and with a slight bend in the elbow we're going to bring the arm up and just let gravity take effect as she starts to feel a stretch in the front of her shoulder here right where the pectoral muscle is. Now you can hang out here for at least a minute and a half to two minutes to allow gravity to just start to stretch out the pectoral muscle. If you have any pain with this exercise, you want to make sure that you stop immediately, contact a skilled physical therapist and they can help you do it correctly. I'm Tara and this is how to treat a pulled pectoral muscle.


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