Self Care – Sharp Pain in Front of Shoulder, Tight Low Back

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 overload this section of the latissimus dorsi by pulling it up and forward. Exercise is one of the most common activities to change, especially some sort of pull-down or pull-up that jerks or stains the muscle. a more fragile individual may get this from reach up to get assistance as they fall into a seat.

Stop sleeping on this side until you this rehabilitated. Especially avoid sleeping on your side with your arm under your head, which stretches and compresses this trigger point.

For Temporary Relief:

Use a little IcyHot patch on the back so that it covers the lower ribs, in the back, where the little green asterisk is in the illustration. I know that you want to put it on the shoulder too., I’ve worked with a lot of people on this. It’s ok to put it in both spots.

After you’ve put the patch on, reach up a few times shows in the pic below and try to avoid sitting on a hard seat that presses into this spot.

These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. Some pain needs to be addressed by a professional. Some pain is not myofascial. You may employ these strategies improperly. 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 bottom ribs. You will be much more successful if you use ice-and-stretch to release this. Reach the elbow toward the ceiling so that the shoulder blade is elevated and the ribs lift away from your hips.

By the way, this also works well if you stretch the arm up and over while spraying the back of the lower ribs under a hot shower.

I’d love your feedback
on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
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Yoga Corner

high lunge from

This trigger point is in the lower portion of the long, lateral belly of lats that needs to be stretched by reaching up while dropping the hip. This works best after some twisting exercises that loosen the shoulders and mid-back.

Without a warm-up, this is the trigger point that makes your low back and shoulder ouchy when you do this pose.

Other patterns that may better match your pain pattern…

Other trigger point patterns
have similar areas of referral
and impaired activities.

You may want to check other posts that refer to the low back or front of the shoulder.

There are a couple of trigger points that are very similar. This trigger point also creates a sharp strip of pain. This trigger point produces pain when reaching forward as well. Look at them. This trigger point produces shoulder pain while pitching.

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.

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

Is the pain from
degenerative discs or
trigger points in the muscle?

This post discusses the differences in pain from disc problems and pain from trigger points. Who should you see to help with your 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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*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read, more accessible, and
to include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there will be inconsistency in formatting, content, and readability until we get the old posts updated. Please excuse our mess.