Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pec Tears

Pectoralis major muscle is the large muscle just in front of the chest wall. There are two parts of the pectoralis muscle, the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major is the larger of the two, and works to push the arms in front of the body, such as in a bench press maneuver.

The pectoralis major muslce, or most commonly its tendon that attaches to the arm bone (the humerus), can rupture. Athletes commonly call this a "pec rupture," but it is more accurately called a pectoralis major muscle rupture. Pectoralis major ruptures are uncommon injuries that occur almost exclusively in men between the ages of 20 to 50. While partial tears can occur, these are less common, and usually a complete rupture of the tendinous attachmet of the muscle to the bone occurs.

There are 3 types of pectoralis ruptures:

type 1: rupture at humeral insertion (tendon ruptured from the bone),

type 2: rupture of musculotendinous junction (rupture in between tendon and muscle),

type 3: rupture of muscle belly (rupture in the muscle itself).

All these ruptures can be partially or fully.

How does a pectoralis major muscle rupture occur?

These injuries generally occur during forceful activities. Almost half of all pectoralis major ruptures occur during weightlifting, particularly during a bench press maneuver. Other causes of a pectoralis major rupture include football (blocking), wrestling, rugby, and other traumatic injuries.

What are the symptoms of a pectoralis major muscle rupture?

Patients who experience a pectoralis major rupture feel sudden pain, and often a tearing sensation in their chest. Symptoms include:

Pain in the chest and upper arm
Weakness in pushing the arms out in front of the body
Bruising in the chest and arm
A dimpling, or pocket, formed just above the arm pit where the rupture occurred
If you are interested in leaarning more about a pec tear, check out my article. Your truly knows this injury all too well.


  1. I wasn't aware of a lot of the details about the peck tear - I'm going to check out that article when I get a second -

  2. John, thanks for pec tear article. I incurred this injury in June of this year. It has really changed everything, and there isn't that much good information available.


  3. I have received alot of good feedback on this article. I guess the prevelence of pec tears has increased in the last 12 years?


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