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A tight pectoralis major muscle that contains trigger or tender points can trigger chest and shoulder pain.
Additionally, if this muscle is too tight it fosters a round shouldered posture.
Trigger points in this muscle – shown as “Xs” in the picture under “Attachment points” – can refer pain to the red areas displayed below.
The deeper the red, the more prone it is to experience pain in the respective area when trigger points in the pectoralis major are present.
The points X1 and X2 mainly trigger shoulder pain, whereas the other points refer pain to the chest itself, and to the upper and inner side of the forearm.
This muscle can contribute to…
A tight pectoralis major can contribute to an impaired flexibility in your shoulder – e.g. when reaching behind – as it pulls the whole system forwards and keeps it there.
From the outside the pectoralis major looks like one muscle.
But actually, it consists of three parts.
Every one of the three parts has its own and separate origin, while all its fibers fuse together at the same spot, namely at the upper side of your arm pit –
The three parts are named after the location of their origin.
All fibers together adduct the arm and rotate the shoulder medially/inwardly.
The lower/costal fibers pull down the shoulder joint, whereas the upper/clavicular fibers elevate/raise the arm.
Furthermore, the muscle protracts the shoulder.
If you are a desk worker, spending hours in front of your computer or writing, the pectoralis might start troubling you.
Why? Because you are prone to be working in a round shouldered position where your pectoralis is constantly contracted, and your shoulder rotated inwardly, respectively.
This means the muscle is constantly in a “shortened” position, which eventually can lead to tender and trigger points.
On the other hand, you can overstress it with too much exercise or activities that you are not used to.
Doing excessive chest workouts at the gym can be a reason for trouble in this muscle.
You can massage this muscle best with a massage ball or with your fingers.
If you use the latter, pay attention not to strain them, as they are delicate “tools”.
Your hands come in handy especially at the outer part of your pectoralis as you can pinch its fibers and work them extremely precise.
Here, it is important to inspect the whole area from right next to your nipple all the way up to your arm pit.
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