The chest has several muscles that run across it. They run up, down and around toward the scapula. Chest muscles run in front of the heart, and any one of these muscles are subject to getting injured. How severe the injury is can depend on how the injury happened. Most times, there are signals that an injured muscle will give you to let you know it has been injured. And sometimes when a chest muscle is injured, it may have you thinking you are having heart trouble rather than muscle pain.
Muscles Around the Heart
The name of the muscles around the heart are the pectorals. There are the pectoralis major, the pectoralis minors and the pecs. The pectoralis major muscles are the bulk of the muscles. They fan across the chest; and for women, they lie under the breast. Pectoralis minors run just under the majors. These muscles originate in the middle of the ribs. The pecs begin on the breastbone in the center of the chest and attach to the shoulder joints. All of these muscles, in some form, encompass the heart. They are all in close proximity to the heart, and can be mistaken for heart pain if they get injured.
Symptoms of a Pulled Muscle Around the Heart
Symptoms of a pulled muscle around the heart are much like any other muscle, except that because of where the pain is, some people have mistaken the pain as heart trouble. There can be shooting pain, stabbing pain, a feeling of heat in the area, tenderness and tightness in the chest, and you may even see some swelling. The pain can radiate along the muscles to other areas, such as wrapping around to the scapula, or back bone.
Theories of Pulling a Chest Muscle Around the Heart
Technically, because of how the muscles are situated in the chest wall, they cannot be pulled like other muscles in the body. They can; however, get strained, which will give a tight feeling in the chest and may mimic a pulled muscle feeling. Or you can physically tear the muscle. A tear in the chest wall muscles is typical of someone who works out with heavy weights. Weight lifters who bench press heavy weights are the most common people to strain or tear a chest muscle.
Treatment For Pulled Muscles Around the Heart
Treatment for pulled chest muscles around the heart is straightforward. You will need to give up your physical exertion. If the injury happened while working out, you will need to rest the chest muscles for a while by not using them. You will want to ice the injury right away; ice will help with swelling, inflammation and pain. Anti-inflammatories, such as, Ibuprofen or Motrin, will help with pain as well, along with the inflammation. If the pain does not get better, you should seek medical attention to make sure you are doing what you should to take care of the injury.
Prevention of Muscle Pulls Around the Heart
Preventing muscle injuries around the heart means not overstraining those muscles. It means not pushing them beyond their capabilities and expecting too much of them. Over exertion of the chest muscles sometimes cannot be avoided and you may sustain an injury. Simply lifting a heavy box may strain the muscles of the chest, or even tear them. Muscle strains in the chest can be quite painful, and because the symptoms and pain may mimic heart problems, if you have any doubts to whether it is a muscle related injury or heart condition, you should see your physician.