National Associaltion of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists - Symptom Checker

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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. Subscapularis
A group of muscles generally denotes muscles of the same function and may share a common attachment point. Rotator Cuff
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.

All of the muscles of the rotator cuff function to stabilize the glenohumeral (g/h) joint, which is another name for the shoulder.  The infraspinatus also medially rotates the arm at the shoulder.

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 from TrPs in the subscapularis is referred to the posterior (back) shoulder.  This pain may spill over to cover the scapula and extend down the posterior arm to the elbow.  A diagnostic feature of this pain pattern is a band of referred pain and tenderness around the wrist – more on the dorsal surface than  the volar surface.

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

A person with TrPs in the subscapularis that are newly
developing will notice a change in range of motion where they notice that it is difficult to take the arm back as if they were going to pitch a baseball.  Severe restriction in abduction then takes place as TrPs progress.  Patients complain of pain when at rest and in motion.  Many times a person is diagnosed with “frozen shoulder” or “pitchers arm”.  A wrist watch may become irritating to the area where pain and tenderness is referred to the wrist and a person may say that they used to wear a watch but do not any more or they have moved it to the opposite wrist.


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

  1. Rotator cuff tears.
  2. adhesive capsulitis.
  3. C7 radiculopathy.
  4. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS).

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

  1. Repetitive forceful medial rotation of the arm as when pitching a baseball or swimming a crawl stroke.
  2. Repeated forceful lifting as when swinging a child back and forth from between an adult’s legs, up overhead. and down again.
  3. Reaching back to stop a fall.
  4. Shoulder dislocation.
  5. Prolonged immobilization of the shoulder.

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. When sleeping on the side, a patient should rest the elbow and arm on a pillow.
  2. Avoid slumped, head forward posture.
  3. Use an armrest when traveling or sitting at a workstation.

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.