Arm and hand pain causes: Shoulder muscles

by Christina Abbott on February 5, 2010

shoulder-musclesThe muscles that move the arm from the shoulder are often implicated in painful conditions in the arms and hands. In my Neuromuscular Therapy practice near Boston, I find this often to be the original source of pain in the arms and the last problem spot to be corrected.

Pain in the arms and hands originating from the shoulders is usually due to Trigger Points in the rotator cuff muscles, the pectoral and subclavius muscles, the latissimus dorsi and serratus anterior. There are lots of muscles who’s business it is to move the arms. Look at the illustration on the left to see just those that are in the front of the shoulder.

latissimusdorsitrps1Of all of these, I find the latissimus dorsi (part of it in yellow in the illustration) to be the most important for computer users because it moves the arm back and forth like when you’re moving the mouse. Trigger Points from the “lats” spread out over the lower part of the shoulder blade, down the side body and inside of the arm all the way down to the pinkie finger.serratus-anterior-trps1

The serratus anterior moves the shoulder blade rather than the arm directly, but has a Trigger Point referral pattern similar to the lats.

The four rotator cuff muscles move the arm and have multiple TrP patterns as illustrated below.

rotator-cuff-grp

The last group, the pectorals and subclavius have similar TrP patterns. A picture is worth a thousand words.

pectmaj-mintrps1subclavius-trps

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