Posts Tagged ‘stretch’
When people want to start exercising more, one of the first muscles they want to work on is their chest. Most people have heard of large muscle pectoralis major but seem to forget about pectoralis minor. Both need to work together in order to function at their highest capacity.
The pectoralis major muscle is a large muscle in the upper chest, fanning across the chest from the shoulder to the breastbone. The two pectoralis major muscles, commonly referred to as the “pecs,” are the muscles that create the bulk of the chest. The pectorals are predominantly used to control the movement of the arm and also play a part in deep inhalation, pulling the ribcage to create room for the lungs to expand. Six separate sets of muscle fibers are identified within the pectoralis major muscle. This enables each portion of the pectoralis major muscle to be moved separately by the nervous system.
The pectoralis minor is a thin, flat muscle found immediately underneath the pectoralis major. This is the smaller of the two pectoral muscles, or muscles of the chest. This muscle extends from three origins on the third, fourth, and fifth ribs on each side of the ribcage to the coracoid process (a small, hook-like structure) of the scapula, or shoulder blade.
The following events listed below can aggravate the Pec Major:
- Unusual postures like head leaned forward for a long time, shoulders deliberately pushed forward, sunken-chest posture
- Sitting in front of computer or working at a stretch on a desk may cause distorted postures
- Sudden jerks during weight lifting with the arms out in front of the body
- Already fatigued muscles if further used for heavy jobs may lead to simple to severe pain in the muscles.
- Intensive anxiety over a long period of time or recurring panic attacks
The following events listed below can aggravate the Pec Minor:
- Trauma to the chest caused by a car accident, such as whiplash
- Major or minor fracture or strain of the upper ribs.
- Use of crutches for a long time
- Hyperventilation or heavy breathing
- Mental stress for a long time
- Carrying heavy backpack or similar things over a period of time.
- Keeping the head forward for a long time, and sunken-chest posture that are common in people who work on computers for longer periods
- Previous or irregular cardiac pain from a heart attack or angina pectoris
Here are some common symptoms for Pec Major and Pec Minor:
- Pectoralis major pain may occur in the form of chest pain, shoulder pain particularly frontal part, and pain in the inside of arm to the elbow. This pain may sometimes be confused as cardiac pain which can be confirmed by medical experts
- Impaired lymphatic drainage may cause the breast to enlarge
- Pain may spread into the ring finger and little finger of the hand for pec major
- A pain in between the shoulder blade may occur simultaneously
- Pain may be felt while stretching the hands on two sides
- Severe pain may cause a feeling of constriction in the chest which much resembles to that of angina pectoris
- Pain may be irregular which is felt while actively using the upper arms
- Pain may be one-sided initially, but if not treated may spread to the other side of the chest
- A feeling of pain coming from the inside part of the elbow that is often confused with the pain of “golfer’s elbow” or medial epicondylitis may be a symptom of pec minor
- Pain that is originating in the inside of the arm and extending up to the middle, ring and little finger may be a symptom of pec minor as well as numbness in the hand and forearm
- Difficulty in stretching the arm forward and up may be painful
*If you think you are having chest pain and is not sure if it is muscle related or if you are having a heart attack please go to emergency room and/or check in with your medical doctor
If your symptoms are related more to pec major or pec minor here are some things to do.
- Rest would be very important since these muscle do so much work
- Icing the area a few times a day for 15-20 minutes at each session
- Some sort of anti-inflammatory to control the inflammation
- Treatment at our office would be with Low Level Light Therapy, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy for stretching and to start implementing an exercises routine. Massage therapy to try and relax the tight and aggravated muscles. As well as a posture program to make sure the correct muscles are working properly
Mention this blog to receive your New Patient exam for only $55!! Call today at 847-362-4476
Join Certified Athletic Trainers Kristin Stromberg and Kaity McLenithan in learning the rights and wrongs of stretching. Learn how to improve your range of motion, decrease pain and improve your overall health and wellness. Registration is $25 and includes the interactive hour long workshop as well as your own Stretch Strap and educational booklet to take home and continue stretching!
This is a basic stretch class and designed for beginners or those who want to make sure they’re stretching correctly. For questions regarding registration please feel free to call the office at 847-362-4476. Class is limited to 10 participants and pre-registration is required. Tickets will be available to purchase starting on February 1st.
When patients come into our office with low back pain or symptoms resembling sciatica one of the muscles we check in on is the piriformis. During the examination we will check on range of motion and strength of different muscles to see if we can narrow down where the pain/discomfort is coming from. It is usually not just one muscle that is tight or restricting but the piriformis is tight in most if not all in our patients.
The piriformis is a flat, pyramid-shaped muscle that lies parallel to (in line with) the gluteus medius and underneath the gluteus maximus muscle in the hip area.The muscle passes through the greater sciatic foramen (a space in the pelvic bones, on each side of the center) and to the upper part of the greater trochanter (a bone ridge near the top of the femur, or thigh bone). It takes up the most area in the greater sciatic foramen.
It is a small muscle when compared to other muscles of the region. The piriformis helps rotate the hip and works with other rotators. It will rotate the thigh while extended and will abduct, or pull inward, the thigh when flexed.
The close nature of the piriformis muscle to the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body, can cause pain in some individuals. This known as piriformis syndrome. This pain can run from the buttocks to the lower back and in some cases down the leg into the ankle. The more joints the nerve passes thru with pain the longer the recovery. This condition can happen to anyone and can worsen with prolonged sitting, sedentary lifestyle, other muscles not working or “firing” correctly and if the problem is not addressed as soon as possible.
Treatment to help reduce the pain in the piriformis
- Physical therapy to increase range of motion and to help strengthen the low back, core etc.
- Chiropractic care to make sure there are no subluxations and that the body is in proper alignment.
- Massage therapy to help relax the muscles from spasming
- Low Level Light Therapy (Cold Laser) to reduce any inflammation that is being caused in the body.
Pictured below is a great stretch to help loosen the piriformis. For more information on how to stretch, visit here.
If you are not sure if you are experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned above and are not sure what to do we are offering a free consultation with one of our doctors to see if we can help. Please call the office at 847-362-4476 so we can stop it in its tracks!!