Arm Trigger Points

Arm trigger points can cause:

  • Pain felt locally in your arm
  • Elbow pain
  • Wrist, hand and finger pain
  • Shoulder Pain

In this page you’ll discover:

  • The most common muscles to get arm trigger points
  • How to find these pain points
  • Treatment methods turn off these triggers and get pain relief

Arm trigger points can be turned on in many situations. They can be activated by painful conditions like arthritis, RSI, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

It’s important to realise that these underlying conditions can turn on trigger points. But if you treat the initial condition, and don’t release the trigger points as well, they can stay active and continue to cause stiffness pain.

That’s why locating and finding these triggers is so useful for full arm and hand function.

Most Common Arm Trigger Points

The most common arm muscles to get trigger points are:

  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Brachialis
  • Brachioradialis
  • Forearm Extensors
  • Forearm Flexors

Elbow Pain & Trigger Points

It’s important to know about trigger points in the arm because they can cause symptoms that are sometimes misdiagnosed as another cause.

For example, pain in the elbow can sometimes be misdiagnosed as Tennis or Golfer’s elbow. However, this kind of pain can be caused by trigger points in the biceps and triceps.

Triceps Trigger Points and Pain Referral Pattern
Biceps Trigger Points & Pain Referral Pattern

Pain Shooting Down Arm

Active trigger points can also cause pain radiating down your arm, right into your hand and fingers.

NB: If you have pain shooting down your left arm, you first need to rule out other causes like heart issues.

Trigger Points in your neck and chest can refer pain into your shoulder and down your arm. 

In some cases, tight muscles caused by triggers can compress nerve bundle that supplies your arm. When this happens it can cause tingling, numbness and shooting pains down your arm.

The two muscles that can do this aren’t located in the arm, however they can cause pain going down the arm, right into the fingers. The first muscle is the scalene, located in the neck. The second is Pectoralis Minor, located in your chest (see below.)

Scalene Trigger Points & Pain Referral Path
Pectoralis Minor Trigger Points and Pain Referral Pattern

Forearm Pain

Trigger points in your forearm muscles can cause pain locally or down into your hands and fingers. There are two main groups of forearm muscles: the flexors and the extensors.

The flexors work to form your hand into a grip, while the extensors work to straighten out your hand and fingers.

Together, they coordinate to create the complex movements we’re capable of. The extensor muscles are particularly likely to get trigger points, as we’re often using them for fine movements, especially if you use a computer or phone.

Forearm Extensor Trigger Point

Pain created by these trigger points can sometimes be mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome or RSI. Triggers can be also be set off by these conditions, and need to be treated for full pain relief.

If you want to know how to locate and release these trigger points, we have a free introductory trigger point manual you can download here.

“I am following your videos and working with ice, the massage tool and heat and I already have noticed an improvement in both the pain in my back and the numbing in my arm. ” – Tina Wattle

Click the button below to go to a free tool we created to help people easily find the trigger points they need to treat to relieve their pain:

How to Treat Arm Trigger Points

The best way to treat arm trigger points is by using ischemic pressure. To do this, first find the trigger point, then gradually increase pressure to block blood supply to the micro-spasm, thus switching it off.

This is a very safe, gentle and effective way of switching off trigger points. It’s then very important to stretch the arm muscles, and apply gentle heat.