Pulled Chest Muscle Treatment

Updated April 17, 2017

Pulled chest muscles occur when muscles and tendons attached to the breast bone tear. Pulls often result from weightlifting and contact sports. Symptoms include pain when moving, muscle spasms and swelling. Home treatments can reduce pain and promote healing.

Ice Massage

Treat the muscle with ice three to four times a day for up to 15 minutes. Create an ice massage tool by freezing water in a Styrofoam cup. Peel away the top of the Styrofoam so the ice protrudes from the cup. Massage firmly over the chest in circles that are about the size of a softball.


Once the chest muscles begin feeling better, apply heat instead of ice massages. Soak in a hot shower or bath for at least 20 minutes. You may also use a heating pad by placing it over the injured area, medium heat, for 15 to 20 minutes. For on- the-go treatment use a heating wrap such as Thermacare.


Over-the-counter medications that contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen will relieve pain of minor pulled muscles. For severe pulled muscles, ask your doctor about prescription medication or an injection of triamcinolone to reduce inflammation.

Massage and Wrap

Massage the chest three to four times a day to help with pain and swelling. After massaging the chest, or using other treatments, wrap the chest with an Ace-type bandage to prevent the muscles from moving too much. That will help the chest heal faster.

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Dawn Fuller is 32-years-old and has been a freelance writer for three years. Dawn's work has been featured on Associated Content and Dawn holds a diploma in Business Office Technology from West Georgia Technical College.