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.
People often think of a massage as a relaxing experience, something they might do occasionally, or give as a gift along with a trip to the spa. Trigger point massage therapy is another kind of massage used to treat pain and physical dysfunction. Trigger points can develop in people from all walks of life. They can affect people of all ages, office workers and labourers, elite and weekend athletes, post surgical patients, people with acute pain from injury and people with chronic pain. Trigger point massage therapy can treat a wide variety of physical conditions such as:
– back pain.
– Carple tunnel syndrome
– achy persistent pain
– pain from Fibromyalgia
– post surgical pain and scarring
– soft tissue injuries related to sports
– TMJ dysfunction
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.
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.
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.