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.
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.
This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began improving the format. We are also adding more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We appreciate your input and feedback. You will see us adding posts and updating older posts as time permits.
Weekly Featured Post
This post shows you how to press out the trigger points and stretch the infraspinatus muscle. It’s a small muscle on the back of the shoulder but creates a number of problems, including:
- shoulder pain when sleeping
- loss of grip strength
- upper neck pain
- pain along the inside edge of the shoulder blade
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 it 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.