Introducing the Infraspinatus: Magic Relief to Your Shoulder Pain

The Cause of Your Shoulder Pain

When we hear that we have a problem with shoulder pain or our rotator cuff, we usually assume the worst.

Most of us know that the rotator cuff is a very important part of the shoulder. But besides that, most people don’t know much about it.

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 small muscles that hold the humorous (arm bone) into the gleno-humeral joint (the shoulder socket), and helps to stabilize the shoulder.

Every time that you move your hand, like when you type, write, knit, etc, you are using the rotator cuff muscles to stabilize your shoulder and hold your arm bone in place.

So it’s no wonder you feel the pain, we’re using it all the time.

Your rotator cuff is involved in most, if not all, shoulder pain.

Treating Your Shoulder Pain with Trigger Points

The most prominent, and easiest to treat of the four rotator cuff muscles, is the infraspinatous. This muscle is located on the bottom two-thirds on the backside of the scapula.

An affectionate nickname for the infraspinatous is “the hot poker.” If it is fired up, spasmed, inflamed and irritated, it’s trigger points can radiate intense, searing heat into the front of the shoulder. It can cause tingling and numbness throughout the neck, shoulders and arms – even into the jaw and head.

If this type of pain is accompanied by shortness of breath (which can be caused by other irritated shoulder muscles restricting rib motion), it is easy to see how an active trigger point in this muscle can cause symptoms that are mistaken for a heart attack.

I have had many patients that have gone to the emergency room with pain, tingling and numbness radiating into their arm and hand, pain stabbing through their chest, and pain with breathing. Only to be told after 4-6 hours that it is just muscle spasm. If they are lucky they will be given some ibuprofen.

I will never forget the pain of my father treating this muscle on me when I was in high school and playing baseball at a serious level. It felt like he was stabbing his thumb through my shoulder when he was treating this muscle. It hurt so bad, I had to keep looking down to make sure it wasn’t poking out of the font of my shoulder.

A Natural Way to Relieve Your Shoulder Pain

The best way to treat this muscle is by placing the hand of the painful shoulder onto the opposite shoulder, in the front. So if you have pain in your right shoulder, then place your right hand on your left shoulder, with your right elbow in front of your chest, and your right elbow bent.

Place a tennis ball or lacrosse ball on the floor or the wall behind you. Lay on top of the ball and try to get the ball on top of the big muscle belly that is on the bottom two-thirds of the back of your shoulder blade.

Roll around on it until your find that most painful spot. It might radiate pain, tingling or numbness into your shoulder, arm or hand, or maybe into the front of your shoulder or into your chest. If it does, then you know you are on the right spot. Lean into it, and come back to it no more than 3 or 4 times.

You can do this after exercise to work out a muscles knot. Before exercise to loosen up muscle to be able to fully access it’s power and range of motion. You can do this on a recovery day before icing. If you do it before stretching or yoga, you will be able to get into deeper poses with your shoulders. If you do this after yoga, it will help you recover quicker.

Anyway that you decide to utilize the treatment of the infraspinatus trigger point, your shoulder will feel better.

When you treat this muscle, I would also treat the other back of the shoulder muscles, front of the shoulder muscles, and neck muscles. You can also treat the low back and hips muscles as well.

I hope this helps you to have a pain free day.