Coracobrachialis Muscle

Coracobrachialis Muscle Structure, Function & Treatment

The coracobrachialis muscle is a long, slender muscle found in the anterior compartment of the arm. As its name implies, it goes from the coracoid process of the scapula to the shaft of the humerus.

The primary function of the coracobrachialis muscle is to cause flexion and adduction of the arm at the shoulder joint. Coracobrachialis, as well as the other arm flexors, are all innervated by the musculocutaneous nerve. 

Coracobrachialis Muscle Structure 

The coracobrachialis develops from the deep surface of the scapula’s coracoid process. On the anteromedial surface of the humeral shaft, the muscle fibres run inferolateral between the brachialis muscle and the medial head of the triceps.

The muscle is basically located between the biceps brachii and the brachialis, just behind the pectoralis major muscle and in front of the subscapularis, latissimus dorsi, teres major and medial head of the triceps tendons. It.

The median nerve crosses the humeral insertion of the coracobrachialis anteriorly. The coracobrachialis forms the lateral border of the axilla alongside the humerus. The musculocutaneous nerve (C5-C7) is a branch of the lateral cord of the brachial plexus that innervates the coracobrachialis muscle. 

Coracobrachialis Muscle Function

At the shoulder joint, the coracobrachialis muscle is responsible for bending the arm (flexion) and pushing it towards the trunk (adduction). When the arm is abducted and extended, this muscle works as a powerful antagonist to the deltoid muscle.

At the glenohumeral joint, the coracobrachialis muscle flexes and adducts the arm (shoulder joint). It also prevents the deviation of arm from the frontal plane during the abduction. Resultantly, when the coracobrachialis muscle contracts, the shoulder joint undergoes two distinct movements;

  • Arm Flexion: The humerus is drawn forward and causing flexion of the arm, 
  • Arm Adduction: The humerus is drawn toward the torso, causing adduction of the arm.

Humerus rotation also caused internal rotation inwards to a lesser degree. Moreover, the coracobrachialis muscle stabilizes the humeral head within the shoulder joint, especially when the arm hangs loosely at one’s side. 

Blood supply

The brachial artery’s muscular branches supply blood to the coracobrachialis muscle. The extra blood flow is provided through the anterior circumflex humeral and thoracoacromial arteries. 

Injuries to Coracobrachialis

The coracobrachialis helps to pull the humerus forward and towards the torso. The humerus, located in the upper shoulder area, relies heavily on the coracobrachialis muscle’s ability to operate effectively and survive. The coracobrachialis muscle is frequently “strained,” but not as much as its neighbour, biceps brachii.

In case of any injury to the coracobrachialis muscle, professional rehabilitation should be sought immediately, and avoid heavy lifting for at least a few days. Coracobrachialis muscle injury is quite difficult to detect; if you feel pain, you must seek immediate medical advice to heal the injury as soon as possible.

Moreover, overwork can stiffen the coracobrachialis muscle. Exercises such as gymnastics practice on the rings are the significant causes of injury to the coracobrachialis muscle that you may perform to squeeze your arm tightly against your body.

Overuse or injury can cause pain in the arm and shoulder that spreads to the back of the hand. As the musculocutaneous nerve supplies the blood to the biceps brachii and brachialis muscles, the severity of the injury can cause sensory anomalies on the radial region of the forearm and restricted elbow flexion.

The coracobrachialis muscle rupture is relatively uncommon. Only a few cases reported in the literature are thought to be caused by direct trauma to a tensed muscle. 

Coracobrachialis Muscle Treatment

Coracobrachialis pain or tension can be excruciatingly painful, preventing people from performing their routine tasks. The following are some of the treatments for pain or pressure in the coracobrachialis muscle;

Exercises

For Coracobrachialis pain or strain, a physical workout and some other particular exercises are excellent techniques to treat the disease. Consult a doctor or physiotherapist to determine which exercises should be performed to achieve rapid relief.

Treatment gels

Apart from workouts, there are a variety of warm and cold treatment gels, and shoulder therapy wraps that can assist relieve coracobrachialis pain or tension. Before choosing any pain relief gels or therapeutic wraps, you must consult with a doctor, who will prescribe the appropriate option to help you recover from this painful disease.

The cold gel, which works as an ice pack to relieve and reduce swelling associated with strained coracobrachialis, can be used for new and recent injuries. The hot gel warms the damaged region without burning it. The gel also helps post-injury pain, muscle stiffness, and persistent arthritis discomfort.

Stretching

Stretching the Coracobrachialis muscle puts the shoulder and the entire body in a better position, which can assist in relieving minor soreness, niggles, and stiffness in the muscle.

You can adapt the exercise of standing straight then raising and lowering the arm to one side at a 45-degree angle for a few seconds. Moreover, surgery must be the last option if other treatments don’t provide relief from strain or pain. 

Massage

To do so, the person must first pinpoint the specific location of the pain. After that, run your thumb along the area you spotted pain and rub it. It’s essential to stay on the muscle when massaging the affected area.

To perform the self-massaging technique correctly, you must learn it from a health professional. These easy exercises, when performed correctly, can provide immediate pain relief and restore arm mobility. 

Bench rows

This exercise can be done with a bench (or any other waist-level-flat surface) with either a dumbbell or a resistance band. Place one hand on the bench and the other on the ground flat.

Place your knee on the bench (on the same side as the hand planted on the bench) and look forward. Then, with the dumbbell or resistance band, perform a “starting the lawnmower” action by lifting it to about chest level and slowly lowering it back down.

References:

  • https://www.rehabmypatient.com/shoulder/coracobrachialis retrieved on 21 March 2022. 
  • https://nielasher.com/blogs/video-blog/treating-coracobrachialis retrieved on 21 March 2022.
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