I've had a problem since puberty which I want to address here in hope of getting some advice in how to fix it.
The left side of my chest is noticably bigger than the right side (look at the difference marked with "B" on the nr2 photo. I can recall that when I was younger, I had a small "bump" on the left side, but apart from that the chest looked flat and symmetrical. The difference grew as the years went by. Now I am 21 and as you can see on the photos I have added, the difference is starting to be fairly big.
I think I was around 16-17 when I first started to feel some stings along the area marked "A" on one of the photos. It felt like a protruding bone sticking a bit farther out (I've marked this with double line) - touching this part always felt a little bit uncomfortable (not directly painful, but a lot more sensitive).
I have no idea if this is relevant, but some nights I could wake up with a shooting pain in the heart, having it beat really hard (and kind of out of rythm). This luckily happened less and less as I got older. Now it only happens twice every six months or so. However, I have no idea if this is caused by the chest deformity or if it is because of some other reason.
I thought the difference would recede if I'd started weight training, so I started benchpressing. I was wrong. My left side grew alot faster, I gained strength alot faster on that side. And the soreness from training would always be alot more on that side. I even got a bump just beneath the chest (marked "C" what the hell is that?? - one displaced fraction of a sixpack?)
I also started feeling this weird feeling when sitting, my left arm (shoulder) would travel further forward than the right side. Really weird. So I stopped training. Real pity. So back to square one. I was still left with this uncomfortable twisted feel and prickly sensation, and asymmetrical chest.
But god, I can't take this anymore. I have to get something done. If the difference gets any bigger than this, I don't know what to do. My mind is bent on it, even if I wear loose clothes so I can't see it. It feels like my whole upper body is twisting to the right, the feeling is so hard to describe.
PLEASE HELP, WHAT CAN I DO!!!??
- And please don't tell me to see a doctor, I've seen three already.
With three different outcomes.
1st doctor: Said the problem was due to an infection in the bone, which made it swell. She gave me painkillers and told me to return in 6 months if the swelling didn't reside. I was at the time in the army stationed far from home, so I never returned.
2nd doctor: showed some concern and took some x-rays, then told me i couldn't do anything about it. He could really not explain the pain though.
3rd doctor: looked at it for 1 minute, then said this was as common as having a bigger right foot. He then totally ignored me when I said I had that stinging sensation in the left chest bone (as i have explained earlier).
What can i do... i am so depressed..
The worst problem is more psychological. I almost never take my top off in front of people, and wear clothes that best cover up the problem- close-fitting t-shirts are out of the question. But even with loose t-shirts I can still see the deformity when walking past a mirror/shop window, making me more self-conscious.
I must admit it does seem difficult to see whether something can be done now-I am in my 30s, and do wonder whether a brace would be effective. I did wonder whether surgery would be possible, but I never chased it up.
Would you say, then, that the biggest problem is any physical discomfort or the psychological nature of the deformity? I actually find the physical discomfort easier to deal with than the psychological difficulty.
Like you, I tried working out because I figured if I could devolop Pectoral muscles and abs, it would be less noticable. I have come to realize that It is really a bone and probably will not go away without surgery. What do you think man, should we just accept it?
I don't know, but we are in the exact same boat and whatever you do I will most likely do as well. It is definitly nice to find someone with the same problem though.
Get back to me
In my early teens I got hit in the chest, I believe it was while swimming I got kicked in the chest and found trouble breathing, this apeared as a red mark and sadly didn't look any further into it. Now I am 18 and my right side of my chest is noticebly larger then my left, I have had 3 doctors look at it and Xrays but they said 'it's normal' even though I still have chest pains and sometimes problems breathing, I desperatly want to fix it for health and psycological problems, does anyone know what type of sugery will actualy be able to fix it? and the cost? as my mother believes Im too paranoid over something that doesn't matter, though it matters a great deal to me....
but I don't know if everyone has got a growth or something different
with mine the left side of the ribs are bellow the right, where I got hit
any body had anything done about this or do we just gotta put up with it?
I always thought it was because I broke my sternum when I was a kid. I fell off a 4-wheeler when I was twelve or so. Wasn't even going fast, but just took all of the impact to my chest. Probably not as cool as the guitar chest backup...
They x-rayed me and gave me an EKG today. No problem with the heart or X-ray apparently. I guess I'm less concerned about having an obviously abnormal chest and am pretty happy thinking that my physical health is alright.
I asked a chiropractor once about working the right side more than the left to equal things out. He told me it wouldn’t work. I don’t know, when I bench press or do a lot of push-ups my chest starts to hurt. I usually stick working my arms to try to draw attention away from my chest. Don’t really think it working though. Maybe, I’ll try what the last dude suggested.
Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one.
Anyway about a year ago I decided enough was enough, I didnt like my body, and I realised it was time to do something about it.
I started training at the gym, and became a complete gym rat, training once or twice a day, and like you I started to notice that the bump got more noticible as my right pec developed faster than the left.
However, I kept at it, and eventually my pecs started to even out, (I started to work my pecs seperatly, always trying to get a few extra reps on my left side. I stick to dumbells when it comes to chest, and when i do use the bar, I am always concious of using my left side more.
Anyway, it evened out the muscles but the problem of the bump remained, it was however less noticible due to the fact that I now had pecs.
But, I wasn't happy, I'm a perfectionist, and I don't like to loose, so I started researching the "bump", basically, it stems from 1 of 3 problems. The most likely one is sciliosis of the spine, a slight bend in your spine causing your rib cage to twist. (in my case my spine was slightly twisted at the pelvis, and this caused a twist in the opposite direction at the top of the spine causing my ribs to twist anticlockwise, and causing the dreded "bump". The other two causes are pectus carinatum and pectus excavatum, just with a disticnt asymmetry.
Anyway's, determined to succeed I decided I was going to cover all bases, I visited an oesteopath to try and straighten my spine, I also took up yoga (in the confinds of my home). I should probably mention that working my back at the gym did wonders for my posture and that helped loads. I also bought myself a vaccuum bell - I recomend you visit here, it will give you a lott of info about the vaccum bell) to suck out my sternum. I used it for an hour before bed, it hurts when you use it for a week, and then after that it's not even uncomftorble. I also bought a rib cage brace (just a elastic material one - just like a strong bandage) and wore that under my shirt during the day (i used to put a pad over the lump so that it would focus the pressure there.
I was to always be conscious that i needed to untwist my rib cage, I used my left hand more especially for reaching for things to the right of me, I just used my left hand more all round. I also always used to make sure shoulders were back, but then with a little bit more effort into moving my right shoulder more round and trying to tilt my ribs to the right.
Anyway's I have been doing all these things for about 6 months, and I am glad to say that it has definatley helped alott, I can definatley notice the difference, and I am still going. Basically, the front of you rib cage bar your sternum is cartilidge, which means its plastic and can be molded with constant pressure. As long as you address the cause (bad posture - mild sciliosis) then you can fix it or at least reduce it significantly. It now bothers me a lott less, I am still trying to improve it, but Im a perfectionist and wont stop till it stops working.
I carn't really say which thing was more effective, but if I was to pick one, I would go with the constant twisting against the bump, and things related to the posture, I think fixing the cause was the biggest thing. Oh one last thing which I did to improve it, which thinking about it could have helped a lott, was to try and expand my chest; with weights (e.g. pull over) and by trying to increase my lung capacity, by cardio, swimming, various breathing exercises and a thing called power breathe. Working your obliques (side abs) also helps expand you rib cage.
So basically, my message is this, it can be improved, I dont think you can ever get it perfect, but I dont think anyone actually has a perfectly straight chest; everyone has a minimal asymmetry. But It can definatly be improved, but it isn't easy, it takes a long time and you just have to keep at it. BUT you by no means have to accept it if you are unhappy with it.
I hope this help's! let me know if anyone else has any other methods which have worked or which they think might work.
Apology's for spelling and grammar, but It turns out that I have written an essay, and I carnt be bothered to check it..... :-D
Some guy, recommended me to do dips .
And I can't say that I made progress, but just by reading this thread, you've encouraged me too keep trying.