Achy pain in the shoulder blade??

One of the most common causes of achy restless shoulder blades is trigger points in the rhomboid muscles. these muscles are responsible for pulling your shoulder blades back, and are often overloaded from poor shoulder posture. These muscles are very common areas to develop trigger points. Once there they will produce a persistent deep achy pain along the inside of the shoulder blade.

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Trigger points in the trapezius muscle.

The trapezius muscle or traps is a large diamond shaped muscle located in your back and neck. It is responsible for both neck and shoulder movements as well as stabilizing these areas. Because of this the traps are a very common muscle to become overloaded and strained. When this happens trigger points form in the muscle and cause pain, refered pain, stiffness, and weakness. The upper portion of the muscle is the most common area in the body to develop trigger points. These points refer pain up the neck, behind the ear, and into the temple causing headaches. Trigger points in the lower parts of the muscle will cause shoulder and upper back pain. Trigger points need direct attention to be treated. Otherwise they can out live you!

The levator scapulae muscle is located in the neck. It attaches from the cervical vertebrae to the top of the shoulder blade. It is responsible for elevation of the shoulder and lateral flexion of the neck. This muscle is often overloaded from poor shoulder posture such as holding your shoulders up to your ears when stressed. When this happens trigger points will develop causing pain to be felt along the shoulder blade and into the neck. Trigger points in this muscle are the most common cause of a stiff sore neck.

Deltoid trigger points and shoulder pain.

The referred pain from the deltoid trigger points is rather unique among myofascial pain patterns in that it “stays close to home” and is not projected to an adjacent region of the body. The pain is typically experienced only during movement of the shoulder joint, and when there is trigger point activity in all three deltoid sections the client may not be able to raise the arm up to 90 degrees. Because the trigger point in the anterior deltoid projects pain to both the anterior and lateral aspects of the shoulder, it will often activate trigger points in the lateral deltoid.

Trigger points in the supraspinatus muscle.

The supraspinatus muscle is a small muscle that helps make up the rotator cuff. It is responsible for shoulder stability as well as lateral rotation of the arm, and help initiate abduction of the shoulder. This muscle can become injured from overhead movements of the shoulder such as painting a ceiling or throwing movements. When this happens trigger points will form producing pain felt in the shoulder, and down the arm. These points will also cause weakness and stiffness. Trigger points must be released for the area to heal.

Trigger points in the infraspinatus and shoulder and arm pain.

The infraspinatus muscle is one of the muscles that makes up the rotator cuff. It functions to laterally rotate the shoulder and to stabilize the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff problems are common and can be caused by both acute injuries, or chronic repeditive movements, and poor posture. When this happens trigger points will form causing pain, refered pain, as well as stiffness and weakness. Refered pain from trigger points in the infraspinatus can be felt into the front of the shoulder and down the arm. Trigger points can also produce a sensation the the shoulder joint isn’t “sitting right”. Trigger points must be released to relieve these symptoms.

Myofascial trigger points and pain.

TP’s were first brought to the attention of the medical world by Dr. Janet G. Travell. Dr. Travell, physician to President John F. Kennedy, is the acknowledged Mother of Myofascial Trigger Points. In fact, “Trigger Point massage, the most effective modality used by massage therapists for the relief of pain, is based almost entirely on Dr. Travell’s insights.”2 Dr. Travell’s partner in her research was Dr. David G. Simons, a research scientist and aerospace physician.

Trigger Points are very common. In fact, Travell and Simons state that TP’s are responsible for, or associated with, 75% of pain complaints or conditions.1 With this kind of prevalence, it’s no wonder that TP’s are often referred to as the “scourge of mankind”.

Trigger Points can produce a wide variety of pain complaints. Some of the most common are migraine headaches, back pain, and pain and tingling into the extremities. They are usually responsible for most cases of achy deep pain that is hard to localize.

A TP will refer pain in a predictable pattern, based on its location in a given muscle. Also, since these spots are bundles of contracted muscle fibres, they can cause stiffness and a decreased range of motion. Chronic conditions with many TP’s can also cause general fatigue and malaise, as well as muscle weakness.