December 4, 2022
Home » Podcast Blog » Trigger Points Affecting The Upper Arm Muscles

Introduction

The upper extremities of the body, which include the head, neck, shoulders, chest, and arms, all have a specific job of keeping the body functioning and helping move from place to place. The head and neck work together to allow the host to have the mobility to turn, rotate from side to side, and lean from one side. The shoulders work with the arms to let the muscles have a full range of motion and even help stabilize the upper body. The shoulders have various muscles, tendons, and ligaments to protect the skeletal joints and even work to do everyday activities like carrying or lifting items. When injuries begin to affect the muscle groups of the upper body, it can lead to pain-like symptoms that can lead to chronic conditions developing over time if not treated right away. One of the muscles in the upper body is called the coracobrachialis muscle, which can be affected by injuries. Today’s article observes the coracobrachialis muscle, how trigger points affect the upper arm muscles, and how to manage trigger points associated with the coracobrachialis muscle. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in shoulder pain treatments to aid individuals suffering from trigger points associated with the coracobrachialis muscles along the upper arms. We also guide and inform our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We established that education is a great solution to asking our providers profound questions the patient requests. Dr. Jimenez DC takes note of this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

What Is The Coracobrachialis Muscle?

 

Have you been dealing with pain from the upper arms to the hands? Do simple arm and shoulder stretches seem to be difficult to do? Or have you been dealing with symptoms of pain, stiffness, or tenderness in your upper arms? Experiencing these pain-like symptoms could overlap other conditions affecting the upper arms and develop trigger points along the muscles, including the coracobrachialis. The coracobrachialis is the smallest muscle located in the front of the upper arm’s anterior that originated in the shoulder coracoid process. This small muscle is connected to the tendon located at the short head of the bicep brachii, and according to Dr. Janet Travell, M.D., the coracobrachialis muscle function helps flex and adduct the arms at the shoulders while working together with the surrounding muscles of the upper arm and shoulders. This allows the arms to move forward slightly and inward. This means that the coracobrachialis muscle will enable individuals to place their arms behind their back without pain. However, like any muscle in the body, injuries can occur in the upper arms and lead to the development of trigger points along the upper arm muscles affecting the coracobrachialis muscle.

 

How Trigger Points Affect The Upper Arm Muscles?

When the upper arm and the coracobrachialis muscle suffer from pain, tiny nodules along the muscle fiber bands known as trigger points can cause referred pain to the upper arms. Now trigger points are tricky to diagnose due to mimicking overlapping conditions affecting the upper arms. Studies reveal that non-specific arm pain could potentially be one of the causes that trigger points mimic due to strenuous physical activities or work-related activities that can overuse the upper arm muscles.

 

Studies reveal that individuals with idiopathic arm pain deal with high variable upper-extremity dysfunction, which could play a factor in pain-like symptoms along the surrounding muscles of the arms and shoulders. Many people often experience pain when reaching behind their back for the coracobrachialis affected by trigger points. Since the coracobrachialis works with the surrounding muscles in the shoulders and upper arms, trigger points associated with the coracobrachialis correspond to those muscles causing overlapping risk profiles. Trigger points affecting the coracobrachialis muscle can also mimic nerve entrapment since the coracobrachialis helps the bicep muscles when flexing. Pain associated with trigger points could potentially irritate the surrounding nerves in the muscle fibers, which causes radiating pain along the arms.

 


Treating The Coracobrachialis Muscle-Video

Does your arm feel stiff when trying to reach behind your back? Do your shoulders ache for no apparent reason? Or have you experienced sharp, shooting pain down your arm? Many people experience pain along their shoulders and arms, affecting their mobility to hold and carry items. They deal with overlapping symptoms associated with trigger points along the coracobrachialis muscle. Trigger points along the coracobrachialis muscle are developed when the upper arm muscles have been overused and irritate the surrounding nerves. This causes radiating referred pain down the arms and can affect a person’s ability to hold items. Thankfully there are ways to manage trigger points along the coracobrachialis and its surrounding muscles. The video above demonstrates a massage technique that works along the coracobrachialis muscle to release nerve entrapment and manage trigger points along the surrounding muscles.


Ways To Manage Trigger Points Affecting The Coracobrachialis

 

There are various techniques that many specialists, like chiropractors, massage therapists, and physiotherapists, can use to identify and manage trigger points in the body. Since trigger points are tricky to diagnose due to causing referred pain along the surrounding muscles, treatments like stretching, massages, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate the pain and reduce future trigger points from forming. Studies reveal that pain specialists could manage trigger points associated with shoulder pain along the coracobrachialis through treatments of manual compression and other various techniques. Once treatments have been incorporated to relieve trigger point pain along the affected muscle, many people can further prevent the symptoms from returning by not lifting or carrying heavy objects and not forcing their coracobrachialis to be a substitute for their bicep muscles.

 

Conclusion

The coracobrachialis is a short muscle that works with the bicep muscle and helps with mobility and motor functions for the arms and shoulders. This muscle allows the arms to move forward and can be placed in the back without pain. When muscle injuries affect the surrounding muscles that work with the coracobrachialis, it can develop trigger points associated with pain along the upper arms. When this happens, it can lead to symptoms of stiffness, pain, and tenderness in the upper arms, causing mobility issues. Pain specialists for trigger points can utilize various treatments to relieve the pain and reduce the effects that trigger points cause on the affected muscle. This allows the upper arms to gain mobility back and the host to do various activities without feeling pain.

 

References

Bron, Carel, et al. “Treatment of Myofascial Trigger Points in Patients with Chronic Shoulder Pain: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.” BMC Medicine, BioMed Central, 24 Jan. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3039607/.

Georgiev, Georgi P, et al. “Coracobrachialis Longus Muscle: Humeroepitrochlearis.” Cureus, Cureus, 13 May 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6044495/.

Moradi, Ali, et al. “Nonspecific Arm Pain.” The Archives of Bone and Joint Surgery, Archives of Bone and Joint Surgery Co., Dec. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151410/.

Ring, David, et al. “Idiopathic Arm Pain.” The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2004, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15252084/.

Disclaimer

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The information herein on "Trigger Points Affecting The Upper Arm Muscles" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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