Trigger points in the scalenes

The scalene muscles are located in your neck. They function to stabilize the cervical spine against lateral movement and elevate the first and second rib to assist inspiration. These muscles are often overloaded and develop trigger points from pulling, lifting, and tugging movements, prolonged cough due to illness, shallow breathing mechanics, and poor neck posture. Trigger points in these muscles can refer in two finger-like projections into the chest, other common patterns are into the shoulder, scapula and down the lateral arm, into the thumb and index finger. The scalene can impinge on the brachial plexus causing nerve pain or numbness down the arm. This is called thoracic outlet syndrome.

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