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Sneaky Subscapularis Pain


The subscapularis is a rotator cuff muscle that is often forgotten when shoulder pain comes to mention. Trigger points in the subscapularis muscle can cause pain and tension in the shoulder, upper back, and down the arm. Along with helping the other three rotator cuff muscles with shoulder stability, the function of the subscapularis is medial rotation of the shoulder, (roll shoulders inward). If you read the post on Pecs, you know the pectoralis major has the same function. When this muscle is tight you may have difficulty rotating your arm in a circle and it may be difficult to reach behind your back.

Release Release Release

With that being said, it’s very important to make sure these muscles get stretched and released often if you are experiencing any shoulder discomfort or pain, because there is a HIGH probability that you have active trigger points in the subscap. You will not feel the pain coming from these muscles until pressure is applied and these are very uncomfortable muscles to apply pressure to so be aware.

How Do You Release Subscapularis Tension?

So how do you release and stretch the subscapularis if it’s underneath the shoulder blade? The best way is to use a massage roller stick or something similar to access this muscle. Place one end of the tool against the wall and the other along the inside of your armpit right beside the pec. Push your arm forward to apply more pressure.

Best way to stretch this muscle is to stand with your shoulder against the wall, raising your arm straight up and pushing your chest forward. Note that it’s likely you’ll feel more of a stretch in your pecs. Again like every stretch make sure you hold the stretch for at least 45 second!

Keeping the subscap functional is important for optimal shoulder range of motion. I can’t tell you the amount of clients I’ve had that felt immediate shoulder relief after this muscle was released. Their range of motion improved significantly as well.

Take action!

Don’t just read this information and do nothing. You are reading this post and on my blog for a reason. If you have shoulder pain, take action. This isn’t stuff I think of and make up. It’s the result of what I’ve learned through hours of studying as well as what I’ve experienced with shoulder pain personally AND what I have worked on with my clients and the feedback they gave me. This stuff works. You just have to do it and be committed to it!


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