Uncover 3 ways PT can treat your shoulder blade trigger points

Shoulder Blade Trigger Points

Do you have uncomfortable knots in the muscles surrounding your shoulder blade? You may not have known this, but those are called trigger points. Trigger points are tiny points in the muscles of your shoulder that have cramped and become stiff. You can usually feel them as little bumps around your shoulder blade that hurt when they are touched. They can develop due to overuse or overexertion of the shoulder blade-supporting muscles, and after one shoulder blade trigger point develops, it can often lead to more trigger points forming.

How did your shoulder blade trigger points develop?

Shoulder blade trigger points usually develop as a result of too much stress being placed on the shoulder muscles. Some of the more common causes are:

  • Repetitive movements.
  • Carrying heavy bags on one shoulder.
  • Improper technique when lifting.
  • Poor posture.
  • Preexisting shoulder conditions.

Shoulder blade trigger points may also cause pain and stiffness in the shoulders that can grow worse over time if not treated. Sometimes simple stretches and exercises can help make your shoulder feel better for a short time. Unfortunately, trigger points may not go away on their own, and the pain and stiffness may become severe enough that it prevents you from engaging in everyday activities. If that is the case, then it’s time to see a physical therapist for help.

How can physical therapy help treat my shoulder blade trigger points?

Physical therapy is an effective method for treating the pain and stiffness from shoulder blade trigger points. Your physical therapist can help you manage your pain, as well as determine what underlying problems may be causing your trigger points to occur. Some of the methods your physical therapist may use to treat you include:

Manual therapy — Manual therapy encompasses a range of techniques where your physical therapist will use their hands to manipulate and move your body. Soft tissue mobilization is one form of manual therapy that can treat trigger points in your shoulder. Your therapist will manipulate the soft tissue underneath the skin with pressure, which helps stiff muscles to loosen and increases blood flow to the area.

Dry needling therapy — This technique uses tiny needles in the affected area to offer not only immediate pain relief, but reduced muscle stiffness and tension. It can cause the affected muscles to spasm, which can loosen up the area and restore mobility to your shoulder or other areas.

Therapeutic exercise — Your physical therapist can walk you through exercises that are designed to reduce your muscle pain, increase your mobility and return your shoulder to its full range of motion. They’re also intended to strengthen your muscles, which can help prevent injuries from occurring in the future.


Can SSOR help treat my trigger points?

The answer is yes! Our team of licensed physical therapists can determine the root cause of your pain from trigger points in your shoulder, and will work with you to treat it. The goal of our physical therapy programs is to not only reduce your pain, but to treat the problem at its source, restore your full range of mobility and prevent injury from occurring in the future. 

We are dedicated to the highest standards of care for our patients. Let Specialists in Sports and Orthopedic Rehabilitation be your trusted partner in your physical therapy care.

Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.