Ben suffered a tear of his right pectoral tendon—which connects the pectoralis major muscle to the upper arm bone (humerus)—while working out at the gym. He had surgery to repair this serious and debilitating injury, and came in to see us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City to rehabilitate from the procedure.
In addition to the two-inch scar from surgery in his armpit, Ben displayed a limited ability to rotate and move his right arm overhead, which is his dominant arm. He was also unable to perform pushing, pulling or overhead lifting activities, had increased muscle stiffness in his neck that prevented certain movements, and kyphotic posture, which results from slouching.
Ben stated that his personal goals from treatment were to return to the gym and continue his lifting and workout activities safely. In particular, he wanted to be able to perform a proper bench press without risk of re-injury that would require additional surgical repair of his right shoulder. Ben also sought to restore his confidence in performing body weight-resisted activities like push-ups, pull-ups, dips and planks.
What Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City did to help Ben improve
To help Ben regain his strength and mobility, we utilized the Graston Technique, cupping and performed several mobilizations to his shoulder, collarbone, sternum, biceps, pectorals, and upper chest and back muscles. We also educated him on how to improve his posture with neuromuscular strength retraining of his rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers, and eccentric pectoral activities that integrated his core muscles and body weight with push, pull and lift activities. We emphasized motor endurance, as well as coordination and power of his right shoulder and scapula (shoulder blade) during these exercises.
Finally, we guided Ben through a progressive return to performing planks, push-ups, pull-ups, bench presses and overhead lifting. We also educated him with an upper body workout program that emphasized mechanics, positioning, form, awareness of muscles used, compensating and self-correction.
Ben was able to successfully return to the gym, and has been able to work out without pain or incident of further injury. He can now properly perform push-ups, planks, pull-ups and bench presses. His surgical scar is barely visible, and he has 100% restoration of his range of motion.
“I was apprehensive in the beginning of this process, and was not sure how things would go,” Ben said. “But coming out of it, I am very pleased with my results and ability to get back to working out at the gym. It’s been a really great process.”
Ben’s success shows that even after a serious injury like a pectoral tendon tear, complete recovery is very possible with hard work and dedication. If you’re dealing with an injury of any sort, we can help you recover and return to your pre-injury activity levels, regardless of the severity of the injury. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog about pectoralis major tendon tears.