Self Care-Mid Back

Self Care – Aching mid-back with tired triceps

Self-Care includes
– Activities to avoid and change,
– Strategies for quick relief,
– Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
– Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…

Activities To Avoid or Change:

Avoid things that yank your elbow from front to back, like cranking the lawnmower, raking, or letting that dog jerk the leash. That mid-back will start aching into the triceps. Likewise, This trigger point gets aggravated by allowing the rowing machine to jerk forward during the exercise.

Awkward Twisting

One client activated by compressing the armpit against a chair back while twisting to talk to the person behind her. Another client created this pattern by awkwardly reaching out to scrub the shower’s tile. Of course, she doesn’t even use that bathroom. Just scrubs it every month, so it doesn’t mildew.

For Temporary Relief:

Pain Cream

Use a little IcyHot cream along the back, just behind the armpit. It’ll be more effective than putting it directly on the focus of pain. I know that you want to put it in both areas; I’ve worked with a lot of people on this. It’s ok to put it in both spots. Patches smell less but have trouble sticking here.



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:

Some relief can be achieved by stretching. These trigger points are along the visible edge of the shoulder blade near the armpit.

There are many versions of this stretch. They usually involved kneeling, placing your elbow on a chair, and dropping your shoulder toward the floor. I like this version from Rohan better as it pulls the shoulder blade away from the hips. In addition, this position offers a more active stretch.

Ice for Better Results

If you’re doing this at home, using the ice and stretch method is much more effective. Stroke the ice along the outside edge of the armpit.

In the Shower

By the way, this also works well if you stretch your arm up overhead while under a hot shower. Make sure the shower hits vital areas; the skin along the back of the armpit, along the sides of your body, and below the shoulder blades.


I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at integrativeworks@gmail.com.

Yoga Corner

The Basics

Poses like this that reach overhead open the lats along the lateral border. Take time to slowly slide the shoulder blade up along the ribs as you reach for the sky. You know you’ve stretched the trigger point when you get the achy mid-back sensation into the shoulder and arm.

teaser with lat twist from liveyouryogaretreats.com

Other Poses

This trigger point is in the upper part of lats stretches by reaching forward more than reaching up. Poses that pull the arm forward, maybe by gripping the foot, help to put an extra stretch on this trigger point. This twisting pose is particularly interesting as it allows the other lat to contract. Also, a back and forth movement does a great job of taking the upper lat through fuller contraction and stretch.

Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle

Pain in this area is also an indicator of problems with your kidney or gallbladder.
See your medical doctor, especially if you’ve had changes in bowel function or urination.

Burning in Mid-Back

This pattern is in the same area but tends to be created by jerking and twisting of the trunk or excessive coughing. For more information, look at this post on aching and burning in the mid-back.

Mid-Back Pain with Stiff Low Back

This pattern has a focus of pain in the same spot and also extends up the trunk in a similar pattern but is more constant and often extends toward the front. Look at this post on aching in the mid-back that extends up and around.

If this pattern has become active to the point that it is chronic, simple stretch routines will only offer short-term relief. This will help you to manage the problem but doesn’t offer the relief that you would get from bodywork. See your trigger point specialist for lasting relief.

Support Integrative Works to
stay independent
and produce great content.

You can subscribe to our community on Patreon. You will get links to free content and access to exclusive content not seen on this site. In addition, we will be posting anatomy illustrations, treatment notes, and sections from our manuals not found on this site. Thank you so much for being so supportive.


Featured Post

The Integrative Model

This video is a brief overview of the Integrative Bodywork Model. It explores the difference between integrated and integrated approaches. Additionally., it walks through an example.

We want your feedback! We are in the process of creating a format for individual muscles.

Please drop us a note at
integrativeworks@gmail.com.

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

Question? Comment? Typo?
integrativeworks@gmail.com

*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.

Tony Preston

Tony Preston, LMT has been treating adults and children since the early 90s. He has authored a number of texts on neuromuscular and craniosacral techniques. He has taught Neuromuscular Therapy for ASHA School of Massage and craniosacral the National Institute of Craniosacral Studies. He currently teaches seminars in Integrative Craniosacral techniques at The Body Guild.

Recent Posts

Trapezius – Massage & Bodywork Collection

https://youtu.be/iA0o1GfYQ48 Overview Here, you will find all the posts related to this muscle, including Pain…

6 days ago

Sphenoid Decompression – Craniosacral Technique

Overview Sphenoid Decompression is a staple of craniosacral techniques. It is involved in many protocols…

1 week ago

Stretching the Deep Calf Muscles

Overview Here, you will find a few short steps for stretching the deep compartment of…

1 week ago

Tibialis Posterior- Massage Therapy Notes

Overview Here, you will find massage and bodywork notes for the tibialis posterior. Assessment Inverted…

2 weeks ago

NMT Protocol – Ankle Decompression

This protocol treats the ankle joints through NMT. Pelvic balancing and other approaches are discussed…

2 weeks ago

Neuromuscular Protocol – Posterior Low Leg

This protocol treats the posterior low leg through NMT. Pelvic balancing and other approaches are…

2 weeks ago