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Spot of pain behind shoulder

Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,

The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get relief,
and more…

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

People complain of a spot of pain deep in the back of the shoulder. It often occurs after other shoulder pain, particularly after this trigger point, has been treated and released. It is a lingering pain that is hard to connect to an activity but often bothers them when I ask them to stretch the shoulder as they reach up and forward.

Most people are usually not aware of how this pain was created. Often, they report that as lingering issue after other shoulder pain has been treated.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Clients report that they have this spot of pain deep in the back of the shoulder when they sleep on their side, trapping the shoulder as they extend the elbow above the head. I was surprised in the first few years of practice how consistently it occurs after releasing other shoulder trigger points.

Research implies that it may occur from an unstable or difficult attempt to reach up and back at the same time. I don’t hear that in my practice.

People do report that it gets a shot of pain when the arm jerks forward and across the body. This happens when a dog jerks the leash or someone uses a grab bar and gets a stretchy jerk upward.


The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Anatomy – Throacic Outlet

The anatomy of these structures is important to understand the syndrome. This post walks through the structures one at a time.

This simple little muscle lives in the center of a complicated structure. Read more in this post about the teres minor anatomy.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

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

Better Bodywork,
Through Shared Expertise.

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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Featured Post

Does Your Shoulder Hurt From the Covid-19 Vaccine?

This post offers quick, lasting relief from the pain in your shoulder that came from the vaccine. You will need an ice cube and about 2 minutes.

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.