One of our top 5 reasons your have arm pain – trigger points in your infraspinatus muscle

A trigger point in your infraspinatus muscle can cause some impressively nasty pain in your arm and shoulder.  What causes your infraspinatus to go wrong?  Many things, but a really important cause is your work posture.

I’ve talked a great deal about how widely anterior head carriage (click here for more on AHC) affects the rest of your body.  Your infraspinatus muscle is no exception to this case.  What is exceptional about it, is why it affected.  Your infraspinatus is one of the muscles of the rotator cuff which, essentially, hold your arm onto your shoulder.  So why should it be affected by AHC?

The main muscle you recruit in to stop your head crashing into your ipad, phone or laptop is your trapezius muscle.  The trap is attached to the far end of your shoulders.  And this is where your infraspinatus comes into play.  To stiffen your shoulders, you also activate your infraspinatus.   This pulls your arms in towards the centre of your body.  At the same time it also pulls them slightly backwards.  This sneaky, secondary, action is what really matters here.  It is done to stabilize the attachment point of your trap muscles.  So, the greater your forward head carriage/anterior head carriage, and the greater your work hours and the poorer your posture the more likely you are to thrash the infraspinatus (and everything else) which can lead to pain in your arms.

The pain!

Surprisingly, this pain is not real pain.  You will not be able to feel a structure in your arm that actually hurts if you prod it because the sensation is being created in your head.  It is just a misinterpretation of the signal from your unhappy infraspinatus muscle.  If something does hurt in your arm then something else is happening.

So, what to do about a trigger point in your infraspinatus muscle?  Get a tennis ball into it or stretch the heck out of it and it’ll come good in short order.  And, I’ll show you these in a subsequent blog.

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