National Associaltion of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists - Symptom Checker

Latissimus Dorsi
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This is the technical name of the muscle being described.  This name may be used to find additional information in any medical resource.

Latissimus Dorsi

A group of muscles generally denotes muscles of the same function and may share a common attachment point.  
Muscle function, in this definition, is what the muscle could do if it was to contract by itself with the body in anatomical position.  This is a general definition of muscle function.  For more information on how muscles work together on the body please refer to a physiology or functional anatomy text.

This muscle will adduct (bring closer to the body), extend, and medially rotate the arm at the shoulder joint. It also allows for forceful depression of the shoulder girdle.

A description of where a Myofascial Trigger Point may produce pain in the body.  This area is generally located away from the trigger point.

Pain usually concentrates along the inferior angle (base) of the
scapula (shoulder blade), and may extend to the back of the shoulder and down the inner arm and forearm to the ring and little fingers.

A description of the symptoms a person may experience with trigger points in the muscle being described.

A persons symptoms of pain, due to TrPs in the latissimus, change little by muscular activity or change of position. Usually, a person finds it difficult to identify a specific event that activated TrPs in the latissimus dorsi.


 A list of possible diseases that fit the information derived from examination of a patient.

  1. Suprascapular nerve entrapment.
  2. C7 radiculopathy.
  3. Bicipital tendonitis.
  4. TrPs in the lower trapezius or rhomboid muscles.

A list of activities or positions that may either CAUSE a trigger point to manifest or PROLONG a pain condition respectively.

  1. Activation of TrPs in the latissimus dorsi muscle results from repetitively pulling down with the hands from and overhead position or pushing down with the hands beside the body.
  2. Reaching overhead to exercise by pulling heavy weights, as in a “lat pull”.
  3. Throwing a baseball.
  4. Hanging from a swing or rope.
  5. Pressing down to twist weeds out while gardening.
  6. Persistent compression imposed by a tight bra (evidenced by deep indentation of the skin).
  7. Body pressure of sleeping on the side of a TrP in the latissimus dorsi.

A corrective action is usually a modification of daily routine which will reduce stress on the affected muscle(s) in a person with myofascial trigger points.

  1. Avoid overloading the muscle.
  2. When pulling down on something, keep the arm vertical and the elbow beside the body.
  3. Use a step stool to avoid reaching high overhead for a heavy object.
  4. When sleeping, place a pillow underneath the armpit between the elbow and the chest to prevent prolonged shortening of the muscle.

References : 
Simons DG, Travell JG, Simons LS, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, vol 1, 2nd Ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.

Travell JG, Simons DG, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, vol 2. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1992.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.  A proper diagnosis should be sought from a licensed health care provider.