The pectoralis minor muscle is a small strip like muscle located underneath the pectoralis major. It functions to protect the shoulder and aid in scapular movement and stabilization. This muscle almost always has trigger points in it due to chronic poor posture where the shoulders are rounded. Federal pain from these trigger points will cause pain to be felt in the chest and down the arm.
The Infraspinatus muscle is part of the rotator cuff. It acts to move and stabilize the shoulder. This muscle is often chronically strained in people who have a rounded shoulder posture. With this type of strain trigger points can develop. These knots in the muscle will cause pain to be felt in the front of the shoulder and down the arm.
The supraspinatus muscle is one of your rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. It helps to move and stabilize the shoulder joint. Poor posture can cause this muscle to become strained and irritated. Rounded shoulders can cause strain in this muscle and can even cause the tendon of this muscle to become impinged with overhead shoulder movement. Trigger points that form in this muscle will cause pain to be felt in the shoulder, elbow, and down the arm.
The scalenes muscles are located in the neck and help with neck movements and inspiration. The anterior scalene runs directly over the brachial plexus that gives nerve and blood supply to the arm. Poor neck and head posture as well as poor breathing mechanics can cause this muscle to become overloaded and develope trigger points. These points will refer pain into the shoulder, arm, and hand. As well as the shoulder blade. When tight, the anterior scalene muscle can put pressure on the brachial plexus causing numbness and tingling felt in the fingers and hand.
The levator scapulae muscle is a thin strap like muscle in your neck. It helps to shrug the shoulders and to side flex the neck. This muscle often becomes over worked when the head is tilted forward, or the shoulders are in an elevated position for prolonged periods of time. When strained trigger points develop. These points will refer pain into the neck and shoulder blade area. Trigger points in the levator scapulae are a main cause of a stiff neck.
One of the most common things I treat in my practice is myofascial trigger points in the neck muscles. More often than not these points have been caused to develop due to poor neck and shoulder posture. You know the posture, head forward, shoulders rounded, spine curved. Anyone that has had to sit in front of a computer all day, or in car for a long period of time, or spends a lot of time on their phone has experienced this type of posture. The muscles that are responsible for holding your neck up, and your shoulders back, become fatigued over time causing a chronic overload stress. When this happens trigger points can be formed in the muscle tissue. Trigger points are areas of the muscle that have been jammed in the “on” position. They are Almost like a micro cramp within the muscle. These points are hyper sensitive and cause pain, referred pain, stiffness, and weakness among other symptoms. Trigger points in the neck muscles not only cause neck pain, but also refer pain into the head and face, mimicking headache and migraine type pain.
The supraspinatus muscle makes up part of the rotator cuff. It is responsible for assisting in shoulder abduction as well lateral rotation and stabilizing the shoulder joint. This muscle is often overloaded in labourers and tradesman who have to do a lot of overhead work. Athletes who do a lot of throwing movements will also frequently have Tigger point in this muscle. These trigger points will cause pain to be felt into the shoulder and down the arm, as well as stiffness and weakness.
The Trapezius muscle is a large diamond shaped muscle located in the back and neck. It is responsible for for a number of shoulder and neck movements and helps maintain proper posture. This muscle is probably the most common muscle that I work on in the clinic. It is frequently strained and develops trigger points easily. The trigger points in the upper portion of this muscle are the most common to be found in the body. Trigger points will refer pain into the upper back, neck, shoulder, and even into the head and temple causing headaches. Chronic trigger points in this muscle are also a frequent cause of a stiff neck.
The Teres major muscle is located at the back of the armpit. It originates on the posterior aspect of the inferior angle of the scapula, and inserts and inserts on the medial lip of the intertubercular sulcus of the humerus. It’s main function is to assist adduction, internal rotation, and extension of the arm. This muscle only becomes active when there is resistance added to these movements. Trigger point pain from this muscle will cause pain to be felt deep into the posterior shoulder and down the back of the arm.