Torn Pec Symptoms and Treatment

An injury not uncommon amongst the weightlifting population.  Pec tears or Pec strains can be a solid hiccup to any upper body training program.  We see them often at Trained Physio & Fitness, and we have the tools and knowledge to help you get back on track as soon as possible.

Pec Muscle Tear Symptoms

Symptoms your may experience:

  • Sudden sharp pain felt in the chest or front of armpit accompanied with a sensation of ‘tearing’ as the injury occurs
  • Immediate loss of strength
  • Mild-to-severe swelling and bruising
  • Difficulty lifting your shoulder and arm
  • Difficulty pushing (body weight push up)
  • Visible distortion at the front of your chest on the affected side

Pec Tear Recovery Timeframe

It is important to consult a Physiotherapist soon after the injury occurs as there are many factors that are considered when diagnosing the grade of your pec injury.  The timeframe for return to activity after a pec tear involves consideration from your Qualified Physio.  However below can be used as rough guide:

Pec Major Injuries are Graded by Severity:

Grade 1 (mild strain) – With the correct initial treatment and management often a full return to activity occurs within 1-4 weeks

Grade 2 (partial tear) – Full restoration of strength is often seen within 6-12 weeks. 

Grade 3 (complete tear) – Depending on your activity level, these high-grade complete tears are often referred for a surgical opinion.  The period of rehab after surgery is usually around 4-6 months. 

How Can Physio Help?

Physiotherapy treatment of pec. major tears involves the combination of hands-on techniques, as well as exercise rehab to build mobility and strength not only into the injured muscle, but to the surrounding muscles and joints to get you back to doing what you love as soon as possible. 

The first few days after a pec injury will mainly involve pain-relief modalities as guided by your Physiotherapist, as well as range of motion techniques and gentle loading to maintain movement as the injured tissues heal. 

After this, a period of progressive loading of the pec muscles will occur to start to build-back strength as early as possible.  This is also where your physiotherapist may start to look into the factors that caused the injury in the first place to reduce the risk of re-injury.

Over time (days to weeks, depending on the severity) strength is built back into the pec muscles as well as any other areas that may have contributed to the initial injury.

How Trained Physio Can Help

At Trained Physio all our Physios have a special interest in sporting and muscle injuries, with experience working with people of all activity levels.

At our clinic, you can expect:

  1. Thorough assessment and treatment of your injury
  2. Comprehensive exercise rehab from the date of your injury, through to your return to full activity
  3. Assessment into why the injury occurred in the first place, and what can be done to keep you injury-free
  4. Manual therapy, dry needling and other treatment-specific techniques as needed
  5. Training modifications to keep you as active as possible whilst undergoing rehab
  6. Use of our fully equipped rehabilitation facility for exercise rehab

East Perth Trained Physio

Physiotherapy has several goals that includes promoting healing, reducing pain, avoiding aggravation, optimising physical function and global strengthening to restore normal movement patterns.  To see how we can help you  BOOK ONLINE TODAY


Written by: Hayden Quinn BOOK ONLINE WITH HAYDEN 

BSc. Physiotherapy (Curtin)

ASCA Strength & Conditioning Coach (Level 1)