The musculus pectoralis minor the small pectoral muscle

Demanding a lot of great strength from the pectoralis minor muscle can potentially lead to symptoms. We see this in strength athletes or boxers, for example. Symptoms that occur with complaints of the musculus pectoralis minor are pain in the chest and pain at the level of the front of the shoulder. Furthermore, you may have difficulty lifting the arm and change in posture may occur.

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


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

Repeatedly demanding great force from this muscle can cause symptoms. We see this in movements where the arm is away from the body and turned outward. With forceathletes so mainly when this force is requested during bench press or shoulder press. Similar complaints also occur in contact sports such as boxing. In addition, complaints to the pectoralis minor muscle can occur due to a lack of alternation in posture.

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Symptoms that occur with this complaint are pain in the chest, pain in the front of the shoulder and pain between the shoulder blades. There can also be a different position of the shoulder because the pectoralis minor muscle can pull the shoulder forward (protraction). Also, the inside of the shoulder blade can be pulled up (winging). It is common for people with complaints of the pectoralis minor muscle to have difficulty lifting the arm.


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


In case of complaints these symptoms, physical therapy is recommended. If the complaint involves tendon attachment damage, relative rest for two to four weeks will be advised. A sling may be used to give more support. The period of relative rest will be followed by exercise therapy. The average duration of rehabilitation is twelve weeks. For other musculus pectoralis minor complaints, the physical therapist can help through muscle lengthening (stretching), muscle strengthening (exercises) and pain relief using muscle techniques.

Do you suffer from Pectoralis minor complaints or pain during bench press? Make a appointment with one of our therapists.