People complain of pain in the front of the shoulder, back of the upper arm, forearm, and hand. The primary complaint is in the shoulder, especially when reaching behind the back to fasten a bra, tuck in a belt, etc. This, in fact, is the test for problems with this muscle and infraspinatus. Both restrict reaching across the low back but with different pain patterns.
This trigger point can be debilitating for pitchers. It creates intolerable pain in the shoulder that feels injurious and radiates down the arm. The subscapularis is also debilitating for pitchers but produces a different pain pattern and hurts earlier in the stretch.
It also hurts when people contracted strongly reaching back behind their head. They complain of pain when they teach back behind their head for the seatbelt or headrest in the car. It also hurts when they try to roll the back of the hair with a hairbrush and hairdryer.
Doorway stretches help. Start with the elbows lower than the shoulders and work up. If there is a sudden, sharp grab n the stretch or they don’t seem effective after a week, see a therapist for work on the shoulder joints.
This usually requires some shoulder joint work as well as some direct work on the trigger point at the attachment on the coracoid process. This muscle lays along the brachial artery and must be treated carefully as the therapist weaves into the armpit to treat the insertion.
This pain pattern is distinct in how it radiates down the back o the arm skipping the elbow and wrist. This pattern makes it easy to single out. People don’t always complain of the entire pattern but the forearm pain is usually noticeable.
Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients.
He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.
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