Causes of Arm Pain
     Pain and/or tingling sensations that travel down the arm can be caused by three primary disorders:
  • An injury to a spinal disc in the neck: (This is a serious injury that typically produces unrelenting, unbearable pain that rarely ceases. If you have experienced recent trauma, and have these symptoms, you should see you doctor immediately.)
  • Compression of nerves in the neck or shoulder regions by the Scalene or Pectoralis Minor muscle groups.
  • Trigger point referred pain or numbness.


The Muscles and Trigger Points that Cause Arm Pain:
     Trigger points in the following muscles will typically produce pain that radiates down the arm.
  • Infraspinatus
  • Scalenes
  • Pectoralis Minor
     The Infraspinatus muscle is found on the back of the shoulder blade. It contracts to externally rotate the arm in the shoulder joint. Trigger points in this muscle produce pain in the shoulder joint that radiates down the front and side of the arm. People with active Infraspinatus trigger points are unable to reach behind their back.
     Learn more about the Infraspinatus trigger points with this article from Dr. Perry >
The Infraspinatus Trigger Points: Magicians of Shoulder Pain
     The Scalene muscle group is found deep in the lower neck. It flexes the neck to the side and helps to lift the rib cage when you inhale sharply. Trigger point induced tension in this muscle may entrap several nerves as they exit the neck region. This entrapment is likely to produce pain, numbness and tingling sensations down the arm. Because the Scalene muscle group functions to aid breathing, its trigger points can cause arm pain while coughing. Learn more about the Scalene trigger points with this article from Dr. Perry > The Scalene Trigger Points: Upper Body Trouble Makers.
     The Pectoralis Minor muscle lies deep in the armpit regions. It contracts to move and rotate the shoulder blade. Trigger points in this muscle may cause the muscle to entrap nerves and blood vessels in the shoulder region. This entrapment typically causes numbness and tingling sensations to travel down the inside of the arm.
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Important: The following content is provided for information purposes only. A proper diagnosis of any condition requires a physical examination by a licensed doctor.