STEP 1: How to Locate the Subscapularis Trigger Point #One
The Subscapularis muscle, as the name suggests, arises from your scapula (or shoulder bone). There are many muscles that originate from this bone. Most of those muscles arise from the posterior or back surface of the bone. The Subscapularis arises from the anterior surface or the surface facing the rib cage. Looking at it from the front, you’ll see: rib cage, Subscapularis muscle, then shoulder bone, in that order. As such, it’s a little difficult to feel the muscle since most of it is between two bony structures. The muscle attaches to the inside of your arm at the head of the humerus, as well as to the capsule of your shoulder joint. This placement makes it a part of your rotator cuff group of muscles. This muscle also helps to stabilize the shoulder joint, and since it’s getting attached to the inside of your arm, helps with internal rotation and in bringing a raised arm closer to your body.
STEP 2: How to Self-Release the Subscapularis Trigger Point # One
There are two massage methods that help alleviate pain in the Subscapularis. This muscle’s location, as we’ve seen in the previous video, makes it difficult to palpate. Still, self-release can be accomplished by lifting your arm over your head and grasping the back of the neck with your palm. This positioning helps move the shoulder bone outward, exposing the muscle. If you place your other arm on your back just below the armpit, working slowly along that line, you will be able to feel the edge of your shoulder bone. This is where your Subscapularis is. To massage it, you can use either your thumb or the tip of your fingers (according to your comfort level) and press into it just outside the felt edge. Make sure you are NOT pressing directly into your armpit. Hold for about 30 seconds and release.
The second massage method requires a stick—any stick around the house will do. A word of caution, this move can become quite intense. Please do not proceed to this option until trying all other methods. Even then, please be advised that you should only attempt this method if you feel fully comfortable in the position. To reiterate, you should stop at any sign of excess pain or uneasiness. First, place your hand behind your neck as shown in the first method. Placing one end of the stick against the wall, relocate the edge of your shoulder bone and place the other end of the stick over it. Again, make sure it is not directly pushing on the armpit. Slowly lean toward the wall, hold for 30 seconds, and relax.
STEP 3: How to Stretch the SubscapularisTrigger Point # One
To stretch the Subscapularis, you’ll need a stick. We learned that this muscle helps with internal rotation and with bringing the arm toward the body, meaning the opposite actions will stretch the muscle. Lift your arm up to shoulder height or higher, keeping your elbow bent, and hold the stick in your hand such that it is behind your arm. Hold the other end of the stick with your other hand and slowly pull up the stick to feel the stretch. The higher you hold your arm, the more stretch you’ll feel. Hold for 30 seconds and release.
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