Shoulder Pain and Restriction Caused by Trigger Points
Shoulder pain is often accompanied by restricted movement of the shoulder joint. When the cause is unknown, the condition is often referred to as “Frozen Shoulder”. Frequently the condition is painful at the start then the pain may decrease but the restricted movement increases. Trigger points in the four rotator cuff muscles are an overlooked source of this muscle pain and loss of movement.
The rotator cuff muscles include the infraspinatis, supraspinatis, teres major and subscapularis. The subscapularis is a most likely contributor to this condition. The primary function of this muscle is to hold the humerus in place during arm movement, preventing displacement. It also aides in the internal rotation of the humerus. The subscapularis muscle causes referred pain to the back of the deltoid muscle extending into the back, over the scapula, and down the back of the upper arm. The pain can also be felt as a band around the wrist.
Common causes of shoulder pain from trigger points in the rotator cuff muscles include any activity requiring medial rotation of the arm like freestyle swimming and throwing a baseball. Sudden stress placed on the shoulder muscle due to a fracture in the humerus, shoulder joint tear or a fall on the shoulder can also activate trigger points in these muscles. It is also common for shoulder muscles to have active trigger points after shoulder surgery.
Once a trigger point is activated in any muscle, it is made worse by movements of that muscle. It is not uncommon for a person who has trigger point in the rotator cuff muscles to have difficulty raising the hand up to comb their hair or to take the arm back as in throwing a ball. Getting early treatment of shoulder pain and restriction may decrease the severity of the condition and accelerate recovery. If you are having pain or restriction of your shoulder make an appointment for evaluation of your condition and start getting treatment now. Call Christine at Trigger Point Myotherapy, 402-228-8955 for an appointment. Visit www.triggerpointreleasetherapy.com for more information.