SIGNIFICANT ROLE OF PEC MUSCLES IN NECK, BACK AND KNEE PAIN
Have you ever considered just how hard your Pectoralis (chest) muscles work every day? You probably never think about it as the Pecs rarely FEEL sore or tight because of their muscle structure.
The Pecs are one of the busiest muscle groups in the body. They are the prime medial rotators – muscles that draw the arms around to the front, and that’s where your arms are for most of the day, including when you roll on your side during sleep.
Tightness in the Pecs is often overlooked in terms of the potential impacts it may have on the rest of the body. Those can be many and varied and can even be a significant factor in lower back, hip and knee pain.
Yes, even knee pain!
The Pecs are assisted by the other medial rotators – the Subscapularis and Teres Major muscle on the shoulder blade and the large Latissimus Dorsi muscles (Lats) in your back.
The Lats play a major role in many of those other impacts.
Let’s look at just some of those. I’ll keep this as simple as possible as there are a range of very complex soft tissue interactions at play. But any competent physical therapist should understand those factors and APPLY that knowledge in their treatments.
ROUNDED SHOULDERS AND NECK PAIN: As the Pecs tighten, they start to round your shoulders and pull your neck forward. That’s largely due to some similar tendon connections with neck muscles – particularly the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle.
You then subconsciously tilt your head back on top of your neck at the C1 (Atlas) vertebrae so your head/eyes remain level. But that causes muscles in the back of the neck to tighten, often causing your neck pain and headaches.
SHOULDER BLADE PAIN: Having rounded shoulders is one of several factors that help strain the muscles and cause pain in the area between your shoulder blades, particularly the Mid and Lower Trapezius (Traps) and Rhomboid muscles.
Releasing the Pecs, Traps and Rhomboids with remedial massage, and stretching them regularly, can relieve or remove shoulder blade pain.
LOWER BACK PAIN: As your Pec muscles tighten (without feeling sore), their tiny opposite muscles on the back of the shoulder blade – Infraspinatus and Teres Minor – then need to work harder to draw the arms/shoulders back.
Combined with tightening of the Traps and Rhomboids through a range of factors, that results in the Lats activating to help draw your arms around to the front. But as that is happening, the Lats also rotate the whole torso towards that side. The diagonal pulling force of the Lats where they attach to the top of the hips means they also help to pull the opposite hip higher. That creates a lateral (sideways) tilt of the pelvic girdle (hips) which can result in a range of lower back and other pain issues.
KNEE PAIN: Once the hips are pulled out of alignment through a lateral tilt, it creates muscle, tendon and ligament imbalances between the inside and outside, and front and back of the legs, including across the knee joint, helping cause knee pain.
From the above, you can see that tightness in your Pec muscles can have significant direct and indirect effects right through your body.
From a treatment perspective, it means that if your massage or other physical therapist is NOT massaging and releasing your Pec muscles with virtually every treatment, you may not be getting the good result you could for a range of muscle and joint pain, or recovery from injury or surgery.
I always give a thorough massage, which includes the Pec muscles and realigning the hips.
If your therapist has never massaged the Pecs, book in for a massage with me and I’ll show you the significant difference it can make to a range of pain issues you may have.
You can call or text 0438774819, email me at [email protected], or click on the link below to take you straight to the Contact page on my website.
David Hall ©
REMEDIAL MASSAGE – TOWNSVILLE THERAPIST
Townsville massage therapist based in Mount Louisa and specialising in Remedial Massage for all types of muscle and/or joint aches and pains, headaches and migraines, and preparation for and recovery from sporting, exercise and other fitness activities including the range of Defence fitness tests. I guarantee the best value for money remedial massage in Townsville. CALL NOW on (07) 4774 6973 or 0438 774 819 to book an appointment.