Why Do I Feel My Armpit More the Day After Chest Workout? Causes, Prevention, and Remedies
After a tough chest workout, you might be familiar with that annoying ache or discomfort in your armpit that leaves you puzzled and searching for answers.
You’re not alone; this experience is shared by many fitness enthusiasts and can be quite confusing to pinpoint where the issue is and how to fix it.
In this article, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of armpit pain following chest workouts, examining the key muscles at play, common causes, and effective solutions to help you return to your training routine without discomfort.
Why Do I Feel My Armpit More the Day After Chest Workout?
Feeling discomfort in the armpit area the day after a chest workout is not uncommon and can be attributed to several factors. The muscles involved in chest exercises, such as the pectoralis major and minor, latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior, subscapularis, and teres major, are all connected in the armpit region. As a result, muscle strain or overuse from the workout can cause pain or soreness in the armpit. Additionally, improper exercise technique, nerve irritation, or even underlying health conditions can contribute to the discomfort. To prevent or minimize armpit pain after chest workouts, it’s essential to follow proper warm-up routines, use correct exercise techniques, progress gradually in intensity, and give your muscles ample time to recover. If the pain persists or worsens, it is advisable to consult a medical professional for further evaluation and treatment.
Muscles Involved in Chest Workouts
Before we delve into the causes of armpit pain after chest workouts, it’s essential to understand the muscles involved in these exercises. Chest workouts primarily target the following muscles:
Pectoralis major: The largest chest muscle, responsible for the bulk of your chest’s appearance and strength.
Pectoralis minor: A smaller muscle located beneath the pectoralis major, which helps stabilise the shoulder joint and scapula.
Latissimus dorsi: A large muscle on the back that stretches from the lower back to the armpit, playing a significant role in many chest exercises.
Serratus anterior: A muscle that runs along the sides of the chest and helps stabilise the shoulder blade.
Subscapularis and teres major: Two smaller muscles on the back that contribute to shoulder stability and movement.
Causes of Armpit Pain After Chest Workouts
Now that we know the primary muscles involved in chest workouts, let’s explore the possible causes of armpit pain after a solid chest workout:
Muscle strain, overuse and underlying health conditions
A prevalent cause of armpit pain following chest workouts is straining or overworking your muscles. Pushing your muscles past their limits can lead to microscopic tears in muscle fibers, causing inflammation and discomfort. This is especially common for those new to exercising or those who have recently upped the intensity or volume of their chest exercises.
In some cases, armpit pain after chest workouts could indicate an underlying health issue, such as a rotator cuff injury, thoracic outlet syndrome, or angina (chest pain due to reduced blood flow to the heart). If you experience ongoing armpit pain that doesn’t improve with rest or self-care, it’s crucial to seek a medical professional’s advice.
Nerve entrapment, irritation and inflammation
The armpit is a complex region housing nerves, blood vessels, and lymph nodes. During physical activity, nerves can become compressed or irritated, leading to pain or unease. Muscle tightness, incorrect exercise form, or existing anatomical issues can contribute to this problem.
Occasionally, armpit pain after chest workouts may stem from infection or inflammation in the area. Causes could include an ingrown hair, a skin infection, or a swollen lymph node due to an infection elsewhere in the body.
Improper exercise technique and allergic reactions
Employing poor form during chest workouts can place excessive stress on muscles, tendons, and nerves surrounding the armpit. Over time, this can result in pain and discomfort, especially if you persistently perform the same exercises with incorrect technique.
Allergic reactions to workout gear, deodorant, or other substances in contact with the skin may also cause armpit pain after chest workouts. This reaction can lead to inflammation, itching, and discomfort in the armpit region.
How to Prevent Armpit Pain After Chest Workouts
To maintain a consistent and enjoyable exercise routine, it’s essential to prevent armpit pain after chest workouts. Here are some strategies to help minimize the risk of discomfort.
Proper warm-up, stretching routines before and after workouts
Begin your workout with a suitable warm-up to increase blood flow, prepare your muscles for exercise, and reduce the risk of injury. Include dynamic stretches and low-intensity exercises targeting chest, shoulder, and back muscles to ensure you’re adequately warmed up before engaging in more intense chest workouts.
Incorporating stretching routines both pre- and post-workout can improve flexibility, reduce muscle tightness, and minimize armpit pain. Focus on stretches that target chest, shoulder, and back muscles to maintain these areas’ flexibility and comfort.
Correct exercise techniques, appropriate equipment and attire
Using proper form during chest workouts is vital to prevent armpit pain and minimize injury risk. Consult a personal trainer or watch instructional videos to ensure you’re performing exercises correctly. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re uncertain about your technique.
Wearing suitable workout gear and using proper equipment can help prevent armpit pain following chest workouts. Ensure your clothing is breathable, well-fitted, and doesn’t cause irritation. Also, use the right equipment for your fitness level and goals, and seek advice from a fitness professional if needed.
Related: Why Don’t I Feel a Pump in My Chest?
Gradual progression in exercise intensity
Avoid diving straight into high-intensity chest workouts; instead, increase the intensity and volume of your exercises over time. This approach allows your muscles to adapt and reduces the risk of overuse injuries and armpit pain.
If you’re already experiencing armpit pain after chest workouts, the following remedies can help alleviate discomfort and speed up recovery:
Rest, recovery and ice
Giving your body adequate time to rest and recover is essential for healing and preventing further injury. If you’re experiencing armpit pain, consider taking a break from chest workouts until the discomfort subsides.
Applying ice or cold packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and relieve armpit pain. Aim for 15-20 minutes of cold therapy several times a day, making sure to place a towel or cloth between the ice pack and your skin to avoid frostbite.
Medications and stretching exercises targeting affected muscles
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce inflammation and alleviate armpit pain. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage and consult with a medical professional if you’re unsure whether these medications are appropriate for you.
Gentle stretching exercises targeting the chest, shoulders, and back muscles can help improve flexibility and reduce muscle tightness, potentially alleviating armpit pain. Remember to perform these stretches slowly and gently, avoiding any movements that cause pain or discomfort.
Consultation with a medical professional if necessary
If your armpit pain is persistent, severe, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s important to consult with a medical professional. They can help determine the underlying cause of your pain and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I feel chest exercises in my armpits?
Feeling chest exercises in your armpits is normal, as several muscles in the armpit area, such as the pectoralis major and minor, latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior, subscapularis, and teres major, are involved in chest workouts. However, if you experience pain or discomfort in your armpits during or after chest exercises, it could be due to muscle strain, nerve irritation, poor technique, or other factors.
Can chest press cause armpit pain?
Yes, the chest press can cause armpit pain if not performed correctly or if you overexert yourself. Muscle strain, overuse, or improper technique can lead to discomfort in the armpit area. To prevent pain, ensure you’re using the correct form, gradually increasing exercise intensity, and giving your muscles time to recover.
Can lifting weights cause armpit pain?
Lifting weights can cause armpit pain if you’re using improper form, lifting too heavy too soon, or not allowing your muscles to recover between workouts. To minimise the risk of armpit pain, focus on proper technique, progress gradually, and ensure adequate rest and recovery.
Why is my armpit muscle sore?
Sore armpit muscles could be due to various factors, including muscle strain, overuse, nerve irritation, or even inflammation or infection. If you’ve recently engaged in chest workouts, the soreness could be a result of muscle strain or overuse. To alleviate discomfort, rest, apply ice or cold packs, and consider over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. If the pain persists, consult a medical professional.
How long does muscle strain in armpit last?
The duration of muscle strain in the armpit can vary depending on the severity of the injury and your body’s healing process. Mild strains may resolve within a few days to a week, while more severe strains can take several weeks or even months to heal fully. To speed up recovery, ensure adequate rest, apply ice or cold packs, and engage in gentle stretching exercises. If the pain persists or worsens, consult a medical professional for further evaluation and treatment.
In conclusion, experiencing armpit pain after a chest workout can be both confusing and frustrating. By understanding the muscles involved and identifying potential causes, you can take the necessary steps to prevent and manage this discomfort.
Ensuring you warm up properly, stretch regularly, and use correct exercise techniques can significantly reduce your chances of encountering armpit pain post-workout. Remember to listen to your body and seek professional advice if the pain persists or worsens. With proper care and attention, you can continue pursuing your fitness goals without the worry of armpit pain holding you back.
Do you not feel the pump in your chest and have these tips helped? Let me know in the comments below.
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