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Trigger Point Therapy - Treating Pectoralis Major

Posted by Judith Winer on


Pectoralis Trigger Points


Pectoralis Major - Common Trigger Point Pain Maps


Most therapists could keep themselves busy treating trigger points in the pecs full time!

Trigger points in pectoralis major are common and may be associated with a number of painful disorders including  mid-scapular back pain, breast pain and hypersensitivity, thoracic outlet syndrome, anterior shoulder pain, golfer’s and tennis elbow, chest pain, chronic fatigue, hyperventilation syndrome.

Pec major trigger points are typically posture related but may also be caused by heavy lifting, chilling of muscle in air conditioning, immobilization of shoulder or arm in cast or sling, anxiety and poor breathing, sports overload (e.g. weight training, rowing, boxing, push-ups).



Trigger Points in the Pec Major are common and usually "Posture-Related"


Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy can be extremely effective. These trigger points are easy to access and generally quite straightforward to identify. Stretching is almost always an important part of the treatment process, and muscle energy techniques (MET's) are particularly useful.


Adducts and medially rotates humerus.
Clavicular portion: flexes and medially rotates shoulder joint, and horizontally adducts humerus toward opposite shoulder. Sternocostal portion: obliquely adducts humerus toward opposite hip.

Pectoralis major is one of the main climbing muscles, pulling the body up to the fixed arm.


Pectoralis Major - Common Trigger Point Sites


Differential Diagnosis

C5–C6 radiculopathy. Biceps tendonitis. Rotator cuff muscle lesions. Intrathoracic pathology. Esophageal pathology. Tietze’s syndrome. Ischemic heart disease (angina). Thoracic outlet syndrome.

Trigger Point Self Help

Patients will often require advice on posture. There are many good stretching exercises for the pec major, and the accessibility of the trigger points make them a good candidate for self-help tools (hard balls, etc).


There are a number of simple stretching exercises for the pecs, but patients must follow correct procedure and safe rules of stretching



More articles about Trigger Points

Find a Trigger Point Professional in your area

About NAT Certification


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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