While poking my muscles in search of tight spots (I can’t fall asleep if something feels jacked up)
I deduced that there’s a connection between muscle innervation and myofascial pain.
This goes one of three ways.
1- Muscles (and joints) with common innervation can impact one another.
Example: Knots in pec major can send pain to the medial epicondyle of the humerus
(the attachment point of the common flexor tendon of the forearm).
Triceps dysfunction can do the same thing.
All of these muscles share a nerve root (C7).
2- Muscles with attachment points on the axial skeleton (skull/spine/rib cage)
impact muscles with nearby nerve roots.
Example: The scalene muscles, if overly tight, mess with nerves going down into the
shoulders, chest, and upper back, and can completely destabilize the shoulder girdle.
3- Large muscles that connect the axial skeleton to the limbs (pecs, lats, glutes)
can distribute dysfunction to a very large area of effect.
Example: The glutes connect the sacrum to the pelvis, and the pelvis to the femur.
They are a well-documented culprit for pain in the hip, lower back, and knee.
The yellow column shows which muscle groups are innervated by each nerve root.
The blue column shows which muscle groups are active in immediate proximity
to the axial skeleton at each nerve root level.
The green column shows which muscle groups fit in both the blue and yellow columns.
Think Venn diagram.
How to use this chart:
1. Figure out what hurts or is inhibited.
Smash it from a few different angles for several minutes. Retest.
2. If it still hurts, look at the other columns on the same row(s) as the thing that hurts.
Smash them also.
3. Remember to check ALL rows where your pain/stiffness is located.
Also remember to smash THOROUGHLY.
If you don’t actually get the knot out you gotta keep at it until you do.
You might require a massage therapist to do this for you.
If you don’t know where to start, I would suggest the muscles of the chest, abs, or glutes.
Since these are large muscles with lots of leverage, attachment area, and innervation overlap
with other bodily regions, they are likely to be involved in whatever your problem is.
Example 1 – elbow pain: smash arm & forearm near the elbow, then chest & lats;
after that, hit the rhomboids, traps, and spinal erectors.
Example 2 – low back pain: smash glutes, then QL, spinal erectors, psoas, and abs;
after that, hit the hamstrings, quads, adductors, and calf muscles.
What if you follow all the steps and nothing happens – no improvement at all?
Well…something might actually be messed up on you, for realsies.
See a professional – preferably a good physical therapist.
It’s exceedingly rare for it to come down to that, but we have peeps we can send you to.
Good luck and happy smashing!