Chest Wall Injuries in Athletes

Stephanie R. Douglas, Nathan P. Olafsen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Musculoskeletal injuries of the chest wall are underrecognized by sports medicine clinicians. The purpose of this review is to highlight key elements of the presentation and management of chest wall injuries seen in an athletic population. Recent Findings: Chest wall injuries may arise from the bony or cartilaginous structures, joints, or myofascial structures of the trunk. Injury can occur in the setting of trauma during sport or may occur due to overuse. Many chest wall injuries can be successfully rehabilitated, allowing return to the athlete’s prior level of play. However, some injuries carry a risk of complications and should be monitored closely. Summary: Chest wall pain is common in athletes and can arise from a variety of musculoskeletal structures. Timely recognition and treatment helps to minimize lost fitness and hasten return to play. Further research is needed to identify modifiable risk factors and optimize rehabilitation outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-457
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Athletic injuries
  • Chest wall injuries
  • Musculoskeletal injuries in athletes
  • Thoracic trauma


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