Pectoralis Minor (Pec. Minor) is a small muscle on the top of your chest, sitting under your collar bone. Pec. Minor isn't as big or as strong as its partner, Pec. Major, but a tight Pec. Minor will still pull the shoulder girdle forwards, rounding the back and contribute to poor posture. Both of the bad postures pictured above are caused by tight Pec. Minor.
The rounded position of the shoulder associated with tight Pec. Minor is called protraction. When the shoulders are protracted, the head falls forwards, which forces the rest of the spine to compensate: either the pelvis rocks forwards (see picture on the left), causing tight quadriceps and chronic back pain; or the pelvis rocks back (see picture on the right), causing weak abdominal muscles and intermittent acute back pain.
A balanced, upright posture is relatively easy to achieve for most people, and it all starts with ensuring a healthy and happy Pec. Minor. To make yours a little bit happier, try these exercises.
Of course, when a muscle is very tight for a very long time, simple stretching might not be enough to release it. If you've tried these exercises for 7-10 days and aren't feeling any better, then you probably need some professional intervention.
To talk about professional intervention, or for more information on Pec. Minor, email me directly via the contact page. For specific information on an injury you have, or for treatment, contact one of my clinics directly. You can find that information here.
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Dr Mitch Clark