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2 Credits

Static Manual Release: Upper Trapezius, Levator Scapulae, Rhomboids and Pectoralis Minor (for Upper-Body Dysfunction)

Manual release techniques for the commonly overactive scapular muscles. Soft tissue release techniques for the upper trapezius, levator scapulae, rhomboids, and pectoralis minor. Advanced soft tissue, massage, trigger point palpation, and mobilization techniques to inhibit antagonists. The reliability and validity of manual release techniques for arms fall, shoulders elevate, forward head, shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches, fibromyalgia pain, cervical dysfunction, and upper body dysfunction.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Description: Scapula Muscle Static Manual Release

This course describes static manual release techniques for the muscles of the scapula that are commonly assessed as over-active and prone to trigger point development. Unfortunately, it is easy to be confused by a large number of synonyms for the terms used for these techniques. For example, the techniques described in this course may be considered refinements of massage, massage therapy, therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, medical massage, sports massage, trigger point massage, static compression techniques, soft tissue mobilization, muscle inhibitory techniques, and manual therapy techniques. Even the term trigger point is referred to by a variety of synonyms including muscle knots, nodules, adhesions, over-active muscle fibers, hypertonic fascicles, spasms, and acute points of hyper-contractility, and the trigger point phenomenon is likely part of every reference to short muscles, muscle tightness, muscle tension, muscle spasm, upper back stiffness, and neck stiffness, etc. Part of the reason so many synonyms exist is the rich history of scientific inquiry, from multiple disciplines and cultures, that have contributed to our understanding of the techniques described in this course.

This course includes techniques for the upper trapezius, levator scapulae, rhomboids, and pectoralis minor muscles. Release techniques for these muscles are commonly included in an integrated program designed to address neck pain, neck stiffness, upper back pain, scapular (shoulder blade) muscle pain, and shoulder pain. These techniques may also aid in addressing posture correlated with cervical, upper thoracic, scapula, and shoulder dysfunction including forward head posture, thoracic kyphosis, scapula dyskinesis, and rounded shoulder posture. Last. these techniques may be beneficial when included in an integrated program designed to address elbow dysfunction (e.g. lateral epicondylitis a.k.a. tennis elbow), upper back pain (e.g. thoracic spine dysfunction), and/or lower back pain (lumbar spine dysfunction).

The techniques in this course are recommended for all clinical human movement professionals (physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, athletic trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, etc.) to develop an evidence-based, systematic, integrated, patient-centered, patient-centered, and outcome-driven approach.

Techniques Covered in this Course:

Additional Static Manual Release Courses

For a review of muscle fiber dysfunction and trigger point etiology:


Research Corner

4 sub-categories


4 sub-categoriesvideo


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1. Introduction

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