Pec Minor Biomechanics
This muscle can have large effects on the body, causing shoulder pain, poor posture and can even affect other areas. I have personally seen a leg length difference change after only working on the Pec Minor!
The Pec Minor when tight or in spasm pulls the shoulder forward and down, causing poor posture. This is common in people who do a lot of weight training, and also those who work at a desk.
A shortened Pec Minor puts the shoulder joint in a compromised position and cause cause tightness and a lack of mobility. Overhead lifting is certainly a bad idea unless the Pec Minor biomechanics function is normalised first.
A Simple Test
A simple test you can do is to lie on your back with your hands palm down on your stomach and elbows on the floor. From here you can either look at both shoulders one at a time, or (even better) take a photo from above your head to see the position of each shoulder. If one shoulder is noticeably further forward than the other, the Pec Minor is suspected of being the cause.
A Simple Solution!
If you notice one side is high on the previous test, you can try an anti-spasm technique to reset the pec minor muscle to its optimal state. Stand near a doorway in the position in the attached picture, and allow the arm to be gently pulled backwards - not into a stretch, just as far as it will easily go.
From here press the elbow gently into the door frame (use around 20% of your maximum strength) and hold this for 20 seconds. Release, then repeat 2-3 more times. If the pec minor was in spasm this will often be enough to reset it's tone and regain optimal length.
If there is no change, there are three basic possibilities:
- The pec minor is short and needs stretching
- Another related muscle is the actual problem
- The problem is being caused by something elsewhere in the body.
If you are trying to self-treat at this stage, I suggest attempting to stretch the pecs. If this does not improve the issue, it may be worth getting checked out by someone!
Please contact me if you would like more information, or to book an assessment which will check not only pec minor biomechanics, but 20-30 more of the most common areas that cause dysfunction in the body, contact me today!
[ Pec Minor picture: "Pectoralis minor muscle and shoulder blade" by Anatomography - Anatomography (setting page of this image.). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.1 jp via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/…/File:Pectoralis_minor_muscl… ]