Repetitive Strain Injury/golf pain


I injured some chest area muscles as far as I can tell by overdoing hitting golf balls (right handed) and striking the mat a bit too hard too often. I had pain at the pectoral insertion at the sternum. 10 days after stopping that seems to have mostly healed but I've also got pain on or beneath the left edge of the left pectoral and about an inch higher than the nipple that is somewhat sharp if I strike a golf ball.  It also hurts if I try to do dips.  Stretching it doesn't seem to be an issue any more.  Seems like it could be serratus anterior, or pectoral minor or major.  Any ideas?

Hi Mike,

I think you did an excellent job of searching out the muscles that are likely to be involved.  I would add to that list the infraspinatus as that is the muscle that is drawing your left arm back as you are making the swing and hitting the mat. The problem is when a muscle goes into a spasm and then shortens, and then you try to stretch it the knot becomes more complicated and the fibers on either side of the knot get overstretched.

I suggest you go to read the sections titled "Muscles and Pain" and "What's Happening Exactly." That will explain all of this in more detail.

Using a tennis ball it is easy to self-treat each of the muscle spasms, if you play golf a lot you may want to learn how to self-treat so you can prevent this from re-occurring.  The website will explain how you can learn self-treatments. Or you can go to a massage therapist who is trained to do trigger point therapy. In either case I believe you can get back to playing golf pain-free in no time at all.

Wishing you well,
   Julie Donnelly  

Repetitive Strain Injury

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Julie Donnelly, LMT


I can accept questions that relate to chronic or acute pain caused by muscle spasms and contractions. Repetitive Strain Injury is actually Cumulative Trauma to muscles. Releasing the spasm &/or contraction will relieve the strain that is felt at the insertion point on the bone. I am the co-developer of the unique safe-stretching program "Focused Flexibility Training," which combines easy instruction for self-treating spasms throughout your body with proven yoga stretches. I have recently authored two new books: "The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution," and "The Secret to Your Best Golf Game EVER!


Since 1989 I have been working with endurance athletes and individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. I have authored seven self-treatment books and three self-treatment DVDs and I have developed the Julstro System for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, Trigger Finger, and other Hand/Wrist pain. I am a national and international presenter at conventions, seminars, and workshops. Principle topics are "Work Shouldn't Hurt," and "The Pain Free Athlete." In 2005 and 2006 I was the massage therapist for ultracyclists competing in the Race Across America (RAAM) 3000+ mile race from San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ. I've taught the Julstro techniques to physical therapists at the Cleveland Clinic, to massage therapists in areas around the USA, and I've taught Julstro self-treatment clinics to dancers at Juilliard School of Performing Arts (NYC),the sprinting team at NC State, and I am working closely with several Olympic-hopeful. We have successfully eliminated the repetitive strain injuries that could keep them out of the Olympic Games, and the best part is they know how to do the self-treatments so they can stay pain-free and flexible.

Triathlete Magazine, Endurance Magazine, multiple national and international trade journals.

Swedish Institute of Allied Health, NY, NY - Initial education in massage therapy Licensed NYS Massage Therapist since 1989. SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY - B.Sc. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Education I was an Associate Professor helping to develop the massage training program for SUNY Rockland Community College

Past/Present Clients
Privacy prevents me from filling in this section without prior consent from my clients. Life Experience: I have been specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries since receiving my NY massage license in 1989. A personal bout with carpal tunnel syndrome was the catalyst to my developing a self-treatment that heals the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome quickly and without surgery. My work with endurance athletes was the inspiration to teach people how to self-treat so they could stop pains even during a race or heavy training day. Both of these situations ultimately became the products that are sold on my websites: and I currently treat people in my offices in Sarasota, FL, Cary, NC, or Pearl River, NY

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