Pectoralis Minor And Poor Posture

Pectoralis Minor And Poor Posture

The Relationship Between Rounded Shoulders And Pectoralis Minor

Postural changes such as having rounded shoulders, can be the result of tight pectoralis minor muscles, through the tight pec minor muscle pulling the shoulder blade down and forward. Bringing the shoulders downwards and rounding them forward. Through the origin of pectoralis minor coming off the ribs and insertion onto the coracoid process at the front of the scapula, contracture of pectoralis minor will depress the coracoid process of the scapula in both forward and downward position contributing to a rounded shoulder appearance.

Not only can a tight pec minor muscle cause rounded shoulders it can also impact the movement of the shoulder and shoulder blade. A tight pec minor may contribute to the presence of:

  • Scapula Winging – A winged scapula is a shoulder blade posture where when viewed from the back the shoulder blade inside border the edge closest to the spine sticks out. Rather than hugging close to the posterior chest wall, this “winging” of the shoulder blade can be visualised often both at rest (as seen in the image below), or become apparent with shoulder movements including reaching, adopting “push up” positions, or putting a hand up behind your back.
  • Restricted Reaching Movements – When raising the arm above head height, a tight pec minor may restrict full elevation of the shoulder being achieved. Such limitation can occur through the restriction of scapular rotation, preventing the socket of the shoulder joint moving into the position necessary for complete elevation of the joint to occur.
    winged scapula

Pain And Pectoralis Minor

Pec minor is also widely regarded as source of shoulder pain and is capable of causing:

  • Pain, or neurological symptoms referring down the arm into the hand, if tightness impacts the plexus of nerves around the shoulder.
  • Pain in the chest and/or front of shoulder. Pec minor itself if tight may be sensitive and have “active” trigger points that cause pain as well as the insertion to the coracoid process is often a pain source with a tight pec minor. Not to mention the impact to normal shoulder biomechanics that a tight pec minor can cause can contribute to among other issues shoulder impingement.
  • Pain in upper back and between shoulder blades.

Management Of Pec Minor Related Conditions

Protraction of the scapula around your chest wall caused by a contracted, or tight pectoralis minor is opposed by the muscles of scapula retraction. The main scapula retractor muscles opposing pec minor include the middle trapezius and the rhomboids. Classically the cornerstone for the management of poor posture considered to be as a result of a tight pectoralis minor muscle is the release and stretching of pec minor accompanied with strengthening of the middle trapezius and rhomboids. Although postural management is typically multi-factorial the above approach is typically very effective in helping manage slumped shoulders.

Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products mentioned. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance on Pectoralis Minor And Poor Posture should consult his or her general practitioner, sports medicine specialist, physiotherapist or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.