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Hard to Resolve Forearm Pain

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

Pain across the chest and down the arm is similar to the sensations of heart attack. Most of my clients have already checked with their heart specialist and tests show that they are OK. People with these symptoms need to check with a medical doctor before getting bodywork that may mask important indicators.

People usually complain of pain in the upper forearm.  They actually grab or trace the area indicated in the picture. They will search for an activity that stressed the forearm but usually can’t come up with one. Some of my regulars will have already tried massaging and stretching the forearm.

Clients with this pattern of pain in the chest and arm usually find that is inconsistent but intense when it occurs. They have often adopted a slumped posture on that side that leaves slack in the sternal pectoral section. They may not have noticed that the pain pattern occurs when they roll that shoulder and arm back until that section stretches. Turning over in bed or leaving this shortened during sleep may wake them at night with chest or arm pain. If the pain becomes constant it is usually during these times of prolonged immobility.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

This can be onset by reaching forward at shoulder level. Recently, I had a client who was mounting a birdhouse on top of a post and held his arm forward at shoulder level for a period. This unusual activity is exactly the sort of thing that causes a latent trigger point to become more active combined with the sort of activity that aggravates this trigger point.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Get Relief with Self Care.

This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch and other strategies that relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork Through Shared Expertise.

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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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.

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*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 will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.