Muscle pain in the upper arm is often caused by tension and trigger points that you can usually treat yourself, with excellent results.
On this page you will learn which muscles are most likely to cause arm pain, and how to get rid of this pain.
Note: This page contains a lot of detailed info. If you are pressed for time, you can reread this article in my e-Book.
A self-massage is often the best, fastest and cheapest way to come to grips with upper arm pain.
Why? Muscle tension and trigger points do not go away by themselves, but can be “massaged out” of a muscle.
And, most of the time you don’t need any outside help.
A self-massage is very effective because you “communicate” directly with the control centre guiding your muscle tone, namely your nervous system.
Tension in the muscles can be reduced by your nervous system when adequate pressure is applied to the muscles.
It is important that you concentrate on painful or pressure-sensitive tissue.
Healthy muscles do not respond to pressure with pain. Pain is often an alarm signal and indicates that something is wrong at the area in question.
Listen to these signals and focus your massage on the tense or painful areas in a muscle.
Most of the time, daily massages (multiple times per day) help alleviate muscle pain in the upper arm within a few days or weeks, and can even eliminate it.
Afterwards, they help maintaining tension at a normal level, and prevent pain from flaring up again.
These are of course primarily my experiences.
Moreover, massages only work if they are carried out regularly. Once a week is not enough!
Self-massages for specific muscles and parts of the body are described below.
They should help you in treating your pain.
You probably won’t need to massage all of the areas described.
I do, however, recommend that you carefully read through all of the descriptions at least once, and check all of the featured muscles.
Then, only put those which are tense or painful on your “massage list”.
This might take some time, but it will pay off. I promise!
Muscles: Biceps brachii, brachialis, triceps brachii
Begin by massaging the biceps brachii, the large muscle on the front of your upper arm.
For massage, use the Press and move technique, or the Thumb index finger technique.
The former is described on this page.
We continue with the brachialis.
This muscle is tucked beside/below the biceps, but can easily be located and massaged.
And finally, we get to the triceps brachii.
This is the large muscle on the back side of your upper arm.
You can feel it when flexing your arm, or when gripping the muscle like pliers.
There is only one point in your triceps that can cause muscle pain in the upper arm.
This point is located on the inside of your upper arm, a few centimetres above your elbow.
It is somewhat difficult to find, but I am sure you will by following the instructions below.
While flexing your arm, you should feel your triceps under your thumb.
From this point, move upwards about 4-5 cm.
The massage technique I recommend here is the thumb technique.
Examine the area where your thumb is positioned and massage each painful point with a maximum of 15 slow massage strokes.
Do this by briefly adding pressure on the area immediately next to the point in the muscle, then slowly moving over it. Let go of the pressure, return to the starting point and repeat.
Alternatively, you can massage your triceps with a hard massage ball.
Muscles: Subclavius, Sternalis
Begin by massaging the area just below your collarbone.
Your subclavius muscle, which is very often the cause of muscle pain in the upper arm, is located here.
This area is best massaged using the Finger technique or the Trigger Fairy.
I recommend the Trigger Fairy as you ´ll save your hands this way.
We can move on to massage of the innermost area of your breast, along your breastbone.
The muscle located here is the sternalis.
However, it is not prevalent in all people.Simply use a massage ball in the entire area adjacent to your sternum to look for sensitive areas.
If you find any sensitive areas, roll your ball over these areas a maximum of 15 times.
Muscles: Delta, supraspinatus, infraspinatus
The following areas are significantly easier to massage and to find than the previous ones, so things will go slightly faster.
First, the focus should be on the region of your front shoulder and the front part of your deltoid muscle, which is located there.
To feel this muscle, put your hand on the opposite shoulder and then lift the arm to about 90°.
By lifting your arm, you will be able to feel the anterior part of the deltoid muscle.
Lower your arm again, keeping your fingers on the muscle.
Press in this area and look for tender spots.
You can, of course, lift and lower your arm to feel the muscle to make sure that you are still in the right place.
Massage each tense/painful area a maximum of 15 times using the finger technique or a massage ball.
Next up is the area of your shoulder blade.
The muscles located here can irritate your nervous system and cause pain in the upper arm in case of excessive tension or trigger points.
We´ll begin with the supraspinatus, using the press and move technique.
Here, too, you can use either your finger or the Trigger Fairy.
Press into the area directly over your spine of scapula.
This is the bony, horizontal line that you can feel on your shoulder blade.
Raise and lower your arm a few times and find the tense areas using your fingers—you will be able to feel the supraspinatus under your fingers.
Once you find a tense area, stay there. Now, apply extra pressure and slowly move your arm back and forth about 10 – 15 times.
If you have made it to this point, you should congratulate yourself!
Very few people make the effort to learn something new.
Stay with it, and you will reap the benefits.
You should congratulate yourself!
Now we are going to work the region under your spine of scapula and the infraspinatus muscle, which is located there.
For this area, I recommend using a massage ball.
Place a ball on your shoulder blade, just below its spine.
Lean against a wall and look for painful areas of your shoulder blade by rolling the ball over them.
Massage each of these points with no more than 15 short massage strokes.
In order to successfully treat your upper arm pain, it is important to always verify the effectiveness of your massage.
Thank you for reading.
You now have an incredibly powerful tool for alleviating your pain.