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Trigger Point Therapy - Treating Latissimus Dorsi

Posted by Judith Winer on


Latissimus Dorsi - Treating Lower Trigger Point



Latin latissimus, widest; dorsi, of the back.

Along with the subscapularis and the teres major, the latissimus dorsi forms the posterior wall of the axilla.


Thoracolumbar fascia, which is attached to spinous processes of lower six thoracic vertebrae and all lumbar and sacral vertebrae, (T7– S5) and to intervening supraspinous ligaments. Posterior part of iliac crest. Lower three or four ribs. Inferior angle of scapula.


Extends flexed arm. Adducts and medially rotates humerus. It is one of the chief climbing muscles, since it pulls shoulders downward and backward, and pulls the trunk up to the fixed arms (therefore also active in swimming front crawl). Assists in forced inspiration by raising lower ribs.

Antagonists: deltoid, trapezius.

Referred Pain Patterns

Axillary trigger point: a 5–10 cm zone of pain at inferior angle of scapula, with diffuse pain radiating into medial upper extremity into ulnar aspect of hand.

Lower lateral trigger point: triangular pattern from trigger point into brim of pelvis and regimental badge area.



Latissimus Dorsi - Common Trigger Point Sites




Latissimus Dorsi - Referred Pain Pattern




Latissimus Dorsi - Referred Pain Pattern



“Thoracic” back pain that is constant in nature and unrelated to activity, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome, back pain turning in bed, dull ache under shoulder blade, sharp pain in back of shoulder when resting on elbows, pain when reaching up to a shelf or changing a light bulb.

Common Causes

Golf, racquet sports, swimming, baseball, cricket, rowing, heavy lifting, gym related, gardening, poor-fitting bra.

Differential Diagnosis

C7 neuropathy. Ulnar neuropathy. Subscapular nerve entrapment. Axillary neuropathy. Thoracic outlet syndrome. Cardiopulmonary diseases.


Latissimus Dorsi - Muscle Energy Technique



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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 








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