The pectoralis minor muscle - the small chest muscle

Requiring a lot of strength from the pectoralis minor muscle can possibly lead to complaints. We see this in, for example, power athletes or boxers. Symptoms that occur with complaints of the pectoralis minor muscle are chest pain and pain at the front of the shoulder. Furthermore, you can have difficulty lifting your arm and a change in your posture can occur.

The physiotherapists of Fysiofitaal Tilburg are able to diagnose a problem of the pectoralis minor. The treatment depends on the severity. If there is damage, the treatment starts with relative rest followed by exercise therapy. Other problems can be treated with a combination of pain reduction, muscle lengthening, change of posture and/or increasing the load capacity.


The origin of the pectoralis minor muscle is the 3rd, 4th and 5th rib. The muscle runs from there to the ravenous protrusion (processus coracoideus), which is part of the shoulder blade. This muscle can pull the scapula down (depression), pull it forward (protraction), turn it inward (endorotation) and can help with breathing. As you can see, this muscle mainly has functions related to the shoulder girdle. Here it mainly has a stabilizing function.

Repeatedly asking great strength of this muscle can cause symptoms. We see this during movements in which the arm is turned away from the body and to the outside. So, strength athletes mainly experience this force when they bench press or shoulder press. Also in contact sports, such as boxing, such complaints occur. In addition, complaints of the pectoralis minor muscle may occur due to a lack of variation in position.


Symptoms that occur with this complaint are pain in the chest, pain at the front of the shoulder and pain between the shoulder blades. There can also be a different position of the shoulder because the pectoral muscle can pull the shoulder forward (protraction). The inner side of the shoulder blade can also be pulled up (winging). It is common for people with symptoms of the pectoral muscle to have trouble lifting their arm.


Recognizing problems with the pectoralis minor muscle can be difficult. This is because it is often seen as a problem of the pectoralis major muscle. Through the interview and examination, the physical therapist is able to determine problems with the pectoralis minor muscle. In addition, an ultrasound can help to determine any damage to the tendon.


If the complaint is one of these, physiotherapy is recommended. If the complaint concerns damage to the tendon insertion, relative rest for two to four weeks will be advised. If necessary a sling can be used to provide more support. The period of relative rest will be followed by exercise therapy. The average duration of rehabilitation is twelve weeks. In other musculus pectoralis minor complaints, the physical therapist can help by lengthening the muscles (stretching), strengthening the muscles (exercises) and pain relief using muscle techniques.

Do you have Pectoralis minor complaints or pain during bench press? Make an appointment with one of our therapists.

Other blogs in this category

Dealing with groin pain

Groin pain can have a variety of causes. This is because different structures can all cause pain in the groin. Some structures cause localized pain others are the result of radiating pain from another region of the body. Also.

Sprained ankle - inversion trauma

Sprained ankle or inversion trauma Almost everyone has gone through their ankle at one time or another. In most cases, the ankle folds inward. This movement of the ankle is called inversion. Hence the name inversion trauma. The symptoms are...

Achilles tendon rupture

We often see a rupture of the Achilles tendon in sports such as football but also in sprinters. An Achilles tendon rupture occurs when the calf muscles are suddenly exposed to a large force. A rupture of the Achilles tendon can be caused by degeneration of the tendon. A...

Our 7 Tips for Training with Knee Pain

Injuries are annoying! Some are more serious than others but generally it's not a reason to stop training altogether. You've often worked hard to be where you are today so don't let this injury get in your way. Here are 7 strategies...

Deltoid tendinopathy

A deltoid tendinopathy is caused by a reduction in the quality of the tendon tissue. This can be caused by over- or underuse and can occur in both younger and older people. A tendinopathy is often accompanied by stiffness and pain in the shoulder....

Inversion trauma

With an inversion trauma, you sprain the ankle, as it were. This will put strain on the anterior talofibular ligament. People who do not seek physiotherapy help after experiencing an inversion trauma have a 90% chance of suffering another inversion trauma.

Knee pain when squatting - the perfect squat

The squat is a compound (= exercise in which movement takes place in several joints) exercise well known among strength athletes. It is an exercise used in the gym to strengthen the leg muscles, but it is much more than that! It is a...

Rowan's wrist - intersection syndrome

A rower's wrist, also known as intersection syndrome, is particularly common in rowers and sports such as tennis. The cause of these wrist complaints is often overburdening of the extensor and flexor muscles of the wrist. Complaints are often pain when bending and stretching...

Throwing elbow

A throwing elbow can occur due to trauma, but also due to repeated throwing with improper technique. Physical therapy can reduce symptoms associated with throwing elbow through focused advice and physical treatment. Causes: The causes of a...

The bosu ball, useful or nonsense?

What is a bosu ball? A bosu ball is a half ball with a hard flat base. It was invented in the late 1990s by David Weck with the aim of reducing lower back pain. The ball can be used on both the convex and flat sides with the aim of...
Sign up for our newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Receive our latest blogs every month!

Thank you for your subscription. You will now receive our monthly newsletter.