Teres Major


Above is the pain pattern for the Teres Major muscle. Pain refers to the back of the shoulder and arm and less typically to the back of the forearm.

Activities Which Aggravate the Pain
Rowing, using overhead pulleys, reaching above the head and across the body such as to take objects from a shelf, driving a non-power-steering automobile, throwing a baseball, tennis serving, reaching behind the waist and pulling up your pants.

Positions that Aggravate Pain from this Muscle
Hand on the steering wheel of a car, holding the arm in a forward or above the head position. This figure shows where the muscle is located in the body and how it is attached to the bones of the body.

Anatomy Facts - Teres Major


Muscle Action
Internal rotation and assists with adduction.

Muscle Origin
Dorsal surface of inferior angle of scapula.

Muscle Insertion
Crest below lesser tuberosity of humerus (posterior to Latissimus dorsi).

Muscle Innervation
Lower subscapular nerve.

Trigger Point Locations - Teres Major


You can find your own trigger points by using your thumb or finger to press on the spots shown in the picture. They are not difficult to find. Or you can ask a friend or family member to help you. Press firmly in a step-by-step manner until you find the exact spot that is tender. That is the trigger point.

By pressing firmly on the trigger point, and holding that pressure for several seconds, you will discover the pain lessens dramatically. In fact there are devices that can help you do this. We recommend a device called a "TheraCane" that can be purchased at many stores such as Sammons Preston Medical Equipment that has a mail order catalogue that can be contacted at 1 800 323-5547. The TheraCane is their item # 5244. The TheraCane can use be purchased at many local pharmacies.

Unfortunately this technique, known as acupressure, or shiatsu, provides only temporary relief. Some physicians inject drugs like Novocaine into trigger points, but these offer only temporary relief as well, and can cause scar tissue in the muscle.

Isometric Contraction Testing - Teres Major


A painful muscle will become more painful if it is forcefully contracted (flexed). Use this picture to test this for yourself with the assistance of a friend or family member.

Follow these Directions
Sit in an armless chair with both arms in the "under arrest" position. Have your assistant place one hand on the back of the forearm and the other on the front of the biceps. Then try to rotate your forearm forward and downward while your assistant prevents that movement.