It is important to look at the thoracolumbar junction mainly the latissimus dorsi. Why? Well this muscle connects the shoulder girdle to the pelvis and is involved with lumbopelvic mechanics. Techniques that open up constricted chest wall soft tissues also reciprocally strengthen the lower shoulder stabilizers. Likewise, lengthening hypertonic lats and subscapularis muscles reciprocally strengthen the posterior rotator cuff. It’s important to treat this muscle along with diaphragm, serratus posterior inferior and the costal rib cage. The glute max and lats are not only dynamic lumbar spine stabilizers, but when working in conjunction with other spring systems, they play a major role in coordinated cross-patterned gait. Due to reciprocal weakness, people tend to stand with the pelvis tilted one way or another with their butt kind of “hanging off” the hip capsules and lumbopelvic ligaments. If the muscles, tendons, and fascia are relatively weak in relation to the demands of a particular sport or repetitive activity, the vertebral joints (usually beginning with the disc) will deteriorate Remember the thoracolumbar fascia is connected to the multifidus and if you are unfamiliar with this muscle you can always go back to a our podcast where we explain more of this muscle and function. But since it connects to the multifidus, they both act to stabilize the facet joints during loading and unloading of the lumbar spine. So, all of this can be a big player when you are working with thoracic and shoulder dysfunction.
Because of this wide muscle it not only moves the arm but also sidebends rotate and extend the spine. Fascia contractures along the ilium due to this muscle can cause depression in the shoulder girdle because of its attachment to the humerus. Help your clients maintain a strong, mobile spine and spinal spring system to minimize injuries and maximize sports performance. A lot of times I will work this muscle along with the pecs and instantly you will see more external rotation in the spine because both are internal rotators.