The pectoralis minor responds well to treatment using the forearm. Dry needling can also be used to great effect, but only if you are very familiar with the anatomy of the area.
Trigger points in pectoralis minor are often associated with elbow pain
Along with the pectoralis major, the pectoralis minor forms the anterior wall of the axilla.
The pec minor is too often overlooked and is as susceptible to trigger points as it's larger neighbour, pectoralis major.
Trigger Points - Referred Pain
Trigger points in the pec minor are a common cause of anterior shoulder pain, but as with the pec major, they can also often refer pain down the arm, to the elbow, and even all the way down to the little fingers.
The pain caused by trigger points in this little muscle can be quite severe.
It is important to note that any client presenting with left-sided arm and shoulder pain should always be immediately referred for examination by a cardiologist.
Pain from trigger points in this muscle may occur secondarily to underlying heart disease, so this must be checked and ruled-out before any treatment of the trigger points.
In most cases, these trigger points will present as:
- Localized anterior shoulder pain
- Pain through the biceps region
- Lateral or Medial elbow pain
- Numbness, tingling, stiffness, and pain in the little fingers
It's important to note that trigger points in the pec minor are probably most commonly "missed" when treating lateral or medial elbow pain (Tennis Elbow, Golfer's Elbow).
There is a tendency to associate these trigger points with medial elbow pain only and to discount a connection with lateral elbow pain.
In our experience, trigger points in pec minor are often present and associated with lateral elbow pain.
About the author
Stuart Hinds is one of Australia’s leading soft tissue therapists, with over 27 years of experience as a practitioner, working with elite sports athletes, supporting Olympic teams, educating and mentoring others as well as running a highly successful clinic in Geelong.
Stuart has a strong following of practitioners across Australia and globally who tap into his expertise as a soft-tissue specialist. He delivers a range of highly sought after seminars across Australia, supported by online videos, webinars and one-on-one mentoring to help support his colleagues to build successful businesses.
In 2016, Stuart was awarded a lifetime membership to Massage & Myotherapy Australia for his significant support and contribution to the industry.
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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
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