Here, you can find ways to get relief on your own from trigger points in the coracobrachialis. Typically, this includes pain in the front of the shoulder as well as pain in the back of the upper arm, forearm, and hand. You can read more about how people describe this pain and activities that typically create the problem in this other post. You can usually get lasting relief with the recommendations below.
Activities To Avoid or Change:
The coracobrachialis pain pattern will be aggravated by activities where you reach behind your back, like fastening your bra or tucking in your shirt. Some people have adapted by snapping their bra in the front and turning it around. For shirts, typically, they just pull their trousers over their shirt instead of tucking it in.
Another classic problem is reaching to the back seat to tend to a child. I’ve been looking for one of those taxi shields that are soundproof. Most of my friends speak loudly in a parentally therapeutic tone.
It hurts even worse to reach over and lift a bag out of the back floor with the arm stretched backwards. People with this issue end up handing their bags to the passenger or storing them on the front floorboard. In tennis, this same motion activates this trigger point during a reaching forehand or overhead shot. It is less of a problem when you’ve warmed up or are wearing a patch.
This also bothers people who pick things up with their arms outstretched. You can reduce pain by keeping your elbows close to your side while lifting.
Throwing can really hurt. Like the tennis forehand, a quick, jerky accelerating motion tends to aggravate the trigger point. Avoid that. If it is a part of your sport and you need to continue with it, see a therapist and get it fixed before you really hurt yourself.
If you’re a dog owner, you can get one of these throwing thingies on Amazon. A ball launcher is particularly handy because it also picks up the ball, so you don’t have to bend over. That can save the low back too.
By the way. Look at how her elbow is forward of her shoulder and not very high. This is the classic adaptation when this trigger point is being bothersome.
For Temporary Relief:
A small pain patch on the inside of the upper arm helps if the situation is really chronic. You can’t put cream here as it aggravates the under-arm so the patch is your better option.
Truthfully, people instinctively adapt to keeping their arms close to their side. Most don’t bother with a patch or temporary relief. However, some people have to reach up and back to throw, hold a handle on public transportation or ring the church bells. In those cases, a patch really helps.
You can pick them up at most drug and grocery stores. They are also available on Amazon.
These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or doesn’t respond to these simple suggestions.
Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:
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Chest openers like locus pose, camel, and backbends stretch the coracobrachialis by taking the elbow away from the collar bone. They will produce that “good stretch feeling” as the trigger point creates a gentle referral on the stretch.
Poses like downward dog, planks, and upward facing dog use this muscle to stabilize the pose. They are more likely to produce pain, especially when the practitioner is unstable or struggling with fatigue. They will be less likely to produce pain when the muscle is warm and stretched out from those chest openers.
As well, hand balance poses tend to aggravate this muscle. However, it is usually overlooked as the source of pain. Practitioners tend to look at wrist and elbow problems because the pain is often focused on the forearm and hand.
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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.
*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistency in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.