How to Measure Your Sunken Chest Depth – 2021 A-Z Guide

Evidence Based This post has medical citations

sunken chest measurement with ruler

How to Measure Pectus Excavatum Depth

Before starting the non-surgical treatment of pectus excavatum, it is essential to measure your hollow chest depth. It will be ideal if you measure it every single day.

This will allow you to see how your pectus excavatum correction is progressing day by day. This progress will serve you as a motivation to do what you’re supposed to do on the days when you’re not feeling very motivated to follow the non-surgical treatment. 

Measuring the progress in the first weeks is very important for your future success in improving the deformity. It will help you psychologically, especially when you realize that the non-surgical system works.

The Importance of Tracking Your Progress

When I started my journey, I didn’t write my progress down. That was a critical mistake that I made. Some days, I didn’t feel like doing anything about my deformity.

I felt like fixing the chest indentation without surgery doesn’t work. I relied on external sources for finding motivation.

How I Stayed Motivated & Peaceful

I fell in love with working out, to the point that I used the gym as an escape from reality when I felt anxious. Some people rely on alcohol or drugs to cope with their anxiety, but fortunately, my escape was working out.

I used every single compliment from my buddies about my muscle building success as fuel to continue on my journey. Relying on the validation of others can be very dangerous.

Fortunately, I had a supportive group of friends that recognized my psychological struggles and insecurities.  They complimented the slightest improvement in my body appearance. That meant the world to me.

What If You Don’t Have Any Support?

If you follow the non-surgical treatment program, and measure the depth of your deformity every day, you don’t need others’ compliments to motivate you.

You’ll stay true to yourself and find the motivation in the notebook where you’re documenting your progress. In this case, others’ support will remain secondary, and that can be used as additional fuel for your journey.

Measurement Process from A-Z

What You Need

To measure the indentation, all you need is:

  • Simple ruler
  • Tape measure

Where to Put the Ruler & How Hard to Press

Put the edge of the ruler horizontally, just underneath your pectoral muscles. That’s the area where the thickness between the skin and ribcage is at its thinnest.

Then, press the ruler hard on the ribcage, so the skin goes out the way. Now, take the tape measure with your other hand. Measure the distance from the ruler to the deepest point of the sunken breastbone.

Write down the distance and the day of measurement. Make sure you apply the same pressure every time you measure. This is critically important for accuracy.

Measure In the Morning

It would be best if you did the measurement every single day, at the same time. Ideally, it would help if you did it right after you wake up. I don’t recommend to do it after vacuum bell therapy.

During that time, the sternum gets elevated, but it falls to a normal position after a few hours. The measurement in the mornings accurately shows how indented your chest really is.

How to Position Your Body While Measuring

I recommend you to measure it while standing up with a proper posture. You can also measure it while sitting or laying. However, it would help if you did it in the same conditions every time you do it.

Let me show you an example. If your first measurement is done in the morning, while you’re standing, then from now on, the next measure should be done in the same way.

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