- Severe pain deep in the back of the shoulder
- Pain in the back of the upper arm
- Pain over the shoulder blade area
- Pain can extend down the back of the arm
- Persistent aching in the wrist with extreme tenderness in the back of the wrist
- Occasionally an extremely tender spot on the front of the shoulder
Where is the subscapularis muscle?
The subscapularis lines the underside of the shoulder blade. It is one of four of the rotator cuff muscles.
What movements does the subscapularis muscle control?
- Twists the arm in toward the body
- Assists in lifting the arm to the side away from the body
Activities that cause subscapularis pain and symptoms:
- Pitching a baseball
- Tossing heavy objects
- Playing the violin, guitar, banjo
- Falling and landing on your side
- Sleeping on one side
- Immobilization of the arm for long periods (casted arm)
Interesting facts about the subscapularis muscle:
- The subscapularis is the prime contributor to frozen shoulder
- The subscapularis is likely the most problematic muscles of ball playing athletes. Trigger points in the subscap can make it impossible to throw or swing at a ball.
- Another sign of subscapularis problems is difficulty putting on shirts and coats. To bring the arm back to put it in a sleeve is extremely painful and difficult.
- Pain in the back of the arm and shoulder blade area along with a persistent ache in the back of the wrist is nearly always signs of subscapularis problems.
Clinical diagnoses to which the subscapularis muscle symptoms may contribute:
- Adhesive capsulitis (Frozen shoulder)
- Rotator cuff tear
- Rotator cuff tendinitis
- Shoulder pointer
- Shoulder strain / sprain
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Impingement syndrome
- Dislocation of the glenohumeral joint
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Charcot’s joint
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Wrist Sprain / Strain
Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the subscapularis:
Satellite Trigger Points: Pectoralis Major, Teres Major, Latissimus Dorsi, Triceps Brachii (long head), Anterior and Posterior Deltoid
Affected Organ Systems: Respiratory System
For Detailed Anatomy Information See: Subscapularis Muscle Anatomy
Help with Subscapularis Muscle and Rotator Cuff Pain and Symptoms
Cold Gel Therapy for Shoulder Rotator Cuff Injury and Pain
Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is a cold therapy gel that provides pain relieve for new injuries and is great as a maintenance treatment over-use and repetitive use injuries. Cold therapy should be used on instead of heat on new injuries to help reduce inflammation. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. Biofreeze should be kept on hand for those who stress shoulder and rotator cuff muscles with job or hobby related activities.
Ice Wrap For Shoulder Injury, Subscapularis Rotator Cuff Muscles
Pro-Ice Shoulder and Elbow Cold Therapy Wrap is great for shoulder injuries involving the subscapularis and rotator cuff muscles. The wrap not only provides cold therapy for the shoulder but it also extends down the arm providing relieve for upper arm and elbow pain. This should be in the freezer of every ball player for quick treatment of over use injuries and preventative maintenance.
Warm Gel Therapy For Shoulder Pain
For arthritic or chronic shoulder pain relieve that can be used anytime and anywhere I recommend Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel. Sombra provides warmth without burning and is better at relieving pain than other over the counter pain creams. Sombra can be applied several times a day for continual pain relief. To relieve subscapularis pain apply Sombra around the shoulder, upper arm and upper chest into the front and back edges of the arm pit.
Hot and Cold Shoulder Therapy Wrap
Elasto-Gel Hot Cold Shoulder Wrap works well for those who need a wrap that provides both heat and cold therapy. This is a great wrap for people suffering from shoulder arthritis pain. Treats pectoralis muscles, rotator cuff injuries and deltoid muscles. The wrap is a gel which allows it to mold to the chest, shoulder, and upper arm comfortably. Available in two sizes.
Self Treatment For Subscapularis Muscle and Frozen Shoulder
The Frozen Shoulder Workbook: Trigger Point Therapy for Overcoming Pain and Regaining Range of Motion is a book to consider if you are suffering from frozen shoulder or unresolved shoulder pain. Author Claire Davies bout with frozen shoulder lead him to research trigger point therapy and use the methodology to resolve his pain and regain the range of motion in his shoulder and arm. In his book Davies explains adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) in layman's language and gives step by step self-treatment methods as well as stretching and strengthening exercises.
Many people have used the treatment methods to overcome frozen shoulder. For others it is a tool to help them manage their pain and maintain movement. There are a few for which the methods do not help, however even many of these people recommend the book for a better understanding of the condition and to help formulate questions and discussion with medical professionals.