The signs & symptoms of a pulled muscle in the chest

Updated February 21, 2017

A pulled chest muscle is usually the result of a rigorous workout or improper lifting techniques. The pain can be very mild to extreme. This article will help you determine if you have a pulled chest muscle by going through the most common symptoms of this type of injury.


The first sign of a pulled chest muscle is soreness. When the muscle is touched, the pain will become greater. The feeling could be compared to that of a bruise. In a more serious muscle tear, the pain may be intense even when you are not touching it.


Stiffness is a noticeable symptom of a pulled chest muscle. You will notice the affected muscle will feel more tense than normal. Since some chest muscles are used to move your arms, your arm movement will be limited to some extent. This is perhaps the longest lasting symptom and can last over two weeks.


Swelling will occur with most pulled muscles. If the strain is minor, the swelling will not be obvious. A severely strained muscle will have visible signs of swelling. In the case of severe swelling, it is important to see a doctor to ensure there will be no lasting damage to the muscle.


During the healing process, the muscle becomes weaker than normal. Like with the other symptoms, the worse the injury is, the more noticeable the symptom will be. When you pull a muscle, you actually have several little tears in it. It isn't until each tear is repaired that you will have your full strength back.


Bruising typically only occurs in the most severely pulled muscles. The bruise could show up as anything from a slight discolouration on your skin to a deep purple colour. These usually appear within two days of the initial muscle strain.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Kenneth Coppens began his freelance writing career in 2008. His passions in life consist of extensive personal research on food, gardening and finding natural and eco-friendly alternatives to nearly all aspects of life.