Having chest pains?

Did you know that your chest pain may not be pneumonia?

Your chest pain could be as a result of strained or tight chest muscles.

Some of the muscles around the chest include the intercostals, pectolaris major, pectolaris minor, and serrators anterior etc. These muscles help in stabilizing your upper body and help you breathe by enhancing chest movements.

 A strain on either of these muscles can cause chest pain and difficulty breathing. This happens when a muscle stretches, pulls or tightens excessively. This as a result restricts normal chest expansion due to muscle tension. Chest Pain can start either suddenly, or it can begin gradually from repetitive motions.

The number one cause of chest muscle tightness is a stiff upper back. This upper back stiffness is often a consequence of slouching.

During slouching, the forces of gravity pulls your neck and shoulders downwards hence inhibiting proper chest expansion. The longer you sit, the less your body is able to fight gravity.

Activities that lead one to slouching.

  • Using smartphones.
  • Driving for long hours.
  • Riding.
  • Sitting and standing for long hours
  • Studying for many hours.
  • Using a laptop for prolonged periods

Signs and symptoms

  • Sharp upper back and rib pain.
  • Gradual worsening pain after repetitive movement, or other physical exercises.
  • Stiffness and tension in muscles, causing upper back pain.
  • Muscle rigidity when bending or twisting the upper body.
  • Worsening pain when coughing, sneezing, or breathing in deeply.
  • Spasms of the chest muscles.
  • Tenderness in the area between the ribs.



  • If you find you have persistent discomfort in your chest that doesn’t respond to treatment, visit your physiotherapist who will help you by;
  1. Relieving your pain.
  2. Releasing tension on the tight muscle.
  3. Guide you on simple stretching and strengthening exercises.
  4. Guide you on proper postures to avoid recurrences

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