Self-Care – Hard to Resolve Forearm Pain

This problem in the forearm comes out of trigger points in the sternal division of the pectoralis major muscle in the chest.

Change these activities:

Avoid activities where you push your arm(s) together in front of you. This typically involves exercises like pec deck machines and chest flys. Most people don’t associate forearm pain with these movements. Hairdressers may think that it comes from handling the handwork and fail to treat the pec muscles. Tennis and other racket sports can also aggravate this condition. If you’ve recently taken up street corner accordion playing with your son, well, sorry to hear that.

For temporary relief:

Mid-sized IcyHot patches work well in the short term. Topical creams tend to produce a bothersome scent that will make your eyes water. This rubs a little under clothing and the IcyHot Patches stay on a little better than Salonpas.

Place it on your chest just above the nipple. Open your arms wide and press your shoulder blades together.

This should offer relief when you’re playing tennis, cutting hair, working out or making music with your son.

For longer-lasting relief:

This post has a breathing exercise that relaxes the chest and aligns vertebrae that create pressure on the nerves that feed the pectoralis major.

These doorway stretches are easy, convenient and effective.

The stretch that is shown in this picture, with the elbows level with the chest, best targets this trigger point.

Fish Pose from

Fish Pose, especially when the shoulder blades are squeezed tight and the head is not resting, is a great opener of the mid-chest. This picture is an advanced version. There are relaxed versions that have a block under the chest and head. If you like that, consider the breathing exercises in this post, they’re very similar and more effective.

Does another Self-Care post
better match your pain?

Here is the post about the trigger point pattern associated with these Self-Care activities.

Check out these other posts on forearm patterns.

This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.

Weekly Featured Post

Can’t Reach the Pain
Under the Shoulder Blade

This pain and tension under the shoulder blade may be the most common pain pattern that I see. It isn’t always the primary complaint as people have gotten used to the constant ache.

It is usually combined with this pattern in the upper neck, which creates upper neck tension to go with the shoulder blade pain.

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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