Important: If you are experiencing any type of chest pain, you should see your doctor immediately. Only after your doctor has ruled out any Cardiac involvement should you investigate trigger points as a source of your chest pain. The following content is for informational purposes only.

Causes of Chest Pain
      Trigger points in the chest and neck muscle groups can cause pain that is experienced in the chest region. Typically these muscle groups are overloaded by starting a new exercise program or heavy physical labor. Additionally, various sleeping positions can activate trigger points in these muscles. Besides pain, these trigger points may produces symptoms such as breast tenderness and cardiac arrhythmia.

The Muscles and Trigger Points that Cause Chest Pain
     The three muscle groups that can contain trigger points that refer pain to the chest region are:
  • The Pectoralis Major
  • The Pectoralis Minor
  • The Scalenes
      The Pectoralis Major muscle group is the large, flat muscles found in the upper chest region. The muscle has four overlapping sections that attach to the ribs, collarbone, chest bone, and upper arm bone at the shoulder. This muscle group contracts as you push with your arms in front of you (e.i. the bench press) and when you rotate your arms inward towards your trunk. The Pectoralis Major can contain up to five different trigger points that refer pain in the chest, shoulder, and breast regions. Additionally, pain or numbness may radiate down the inside of the arm and into the fingers. Trigger points in this muscle group tend to activate trigger points in the upper back muscles that produce pain between the shoulder blades.
      The Pectoralis Minor muscle is a small muscle that lies underneath the larger Pectoralis Major muscle group. This muscle attaches to the Shoulder Blade behind the collar bone, and runs downward to attach to the upper ribs in the front of the upper body. This muscle can contain two trigger points that refer pain over the chest and shoulder regions, and sometimes the pain may extend down the inside of the arm.
     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 points in the Scalene muscles can produce strong pain in the chest, shoulder, and shoulder blade regions. The referred pain to the chest occurs in a two finger-like projection below the collar bone. Learn more about the Scalene trigger points with this article from Dr. Perry > The Scalene Trigger Points: Upper Body Trouble Makers.
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