How to Relieve Arm Pain with Cross Fiber Friction Self-Massage

August 27, 2014

Two gravely important muscles of the rotator cuff family are TERES MAJOR and TERES MINOR.  The structure and function of the arm and shoulder are dependent on them.  The Teres Minor is the upper  muscle and the Teres Major is the larger thicker lower  muscle in the diagram below.  You can palpate the Teres Major muscle under your arm and the Teres Minor muscle over your arm.


Teres Minor & Teres Major Muscles

How to tell if you have Trigger Points in Teres Minor & Major?

Pain in the back of the shoulder and down the arm. (A)

Pain in the front of the shoulder, mimicking Thoracic Outlet. (B)

Pain down the arm and in front of the hand over the thumb and pointer finger. (C)

Pain extending arm behind you.

Pain bringing arm out to the side.

Pain bringing arm out to your side and bending the elbow.


All or any of these are most likely Triggers Points of the Teres Minor & Major.

*If you have acute pain that hurts with any movement because of injury, you must be checked out by your physician for rotator cuff tear. Please DO NOT do the following treatment until you get the approval of a doctor.*

 Anatomy 101 – Finding the Scapula and Teres Muscles


The Scapula is the triangular bone behind the shoulder. Both the scapula and Teres muscles can be reached while on your side seen in the first photo. The top or superior angle of the scapula extends all the way to the model’s strap (middle photo). The Teres Major and Minor are along the triple xxx on the third photo. You can use Skin Rolling and Cross Fiber Friction techniques to release them.

We have added a Bonus video with full instructions on how to reach and use the strokes on the muscles. We feel the video is definitely worth watching. Its only a few minutes long and will really demonstrate how easy it was for our model and the relief she felt after massaging them. As a subscriber, you can head right over to our My Self-Care Toolkit page now. If not, just sign up above or below so we can send you a password that will allow you immediate access. Plus, when you subscribe, you will  receive our blogs on SELF-MASSAGE with EXCLUSIVE free Videos, Tips and Giveaways right to your inbox! 

Again, thank you so much for reading our blog and visiting We are here to help and we love what we do.

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We hope you’ve  had a great summer so far!

Wishing you a pain-free day,


Elizabeth & Carly The Massage Gurus!

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