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The Scalenes, the Dynamic Duo + 1

The Scalenes are an important neck muscle comprised of three parts, the anterior, the middle, and the posterior. The anterior and the middle will be the subject of this post because the posterior is mostly involved as a synergist for the upper trapezius. The brachial plexus passes through an opening between the anterior and middle […]

The Pectoralis Minor, King of Compensation

The pectoralis minor is a muscle that becomes easily shortened and tight due to many factors, including rounded shoulder posture, glenohumeral joint dysfunction,breathing dysfunction, and a variety of compensation patterns. It sits on top of the brachial plexus, and can therefore contribute to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The pectoralis minor is located in an area of […]

The Popliteus, the Tiny Muscle of Knee Pain

ANATOMY The popliteus tendon originates on the lateral surface of the lateral femoral condyle (in front of and below the lateral collateral ligament origin) and also from the fibular head. It also has an origin stemming from the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus. The tendon then courses under the lateral collateral ligament, descends into […]

The Often Overlooked Tensor Fascia Lata

The Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL) is a muscle with many different functions. It is an abductor, and internal rotator of the hip, and a hip flexor. Having so many functions, the TFL can be involved in many dysfunctional movement patterns throughout the body. We will explore its role in each of the aforementioned functions, assessing […]

The Piriformis is a Real Pain in the Ass

The piriformis muscle is the most superior of the deep external rotators of the hip. The sciatic nerve passes underneath it and sometimes through it. Hypertonicity of the piriformis can contribute to many kinds of Low Back Pain, also known as Piriformis Syndrome. We will examine the factors that make for a hypertonic piriformis muscle […]

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction or TMJD is a common malady affecting millions throughout the world. According to statistics most sufferers are women. I believe the reason for this is, that in many cultures women are not allowed to express their anger, and as a consequence, it somatizes in the jaw. We do know that suppressed anger […]

Hip Joint Jam

Hip joint impingement or Femoroacetabular impingement is a common malady affecting millions of people. If left untreated, this condition will result in osteoarthritis, hip replacement, severe groin and buttock pain, and limited and painful range of motion. FAI can result from playing sports or sitting too much. A student of mine brought his client to […]

The Diaphragm and its Global Relationships

The diaphragm, being a centrally located muscle, when it becomes facilitated, its effects can be felt throughout the entire body. There are many reasons why the diaphragm becomes facilitated. One of these is emotional stress which causes the diaphragm to contract. Another is poor breathing habits. This results in chest breathing with the scalenes,serratus posterior […]

The Pelvic Floor-Overactive or Underactive?

Weakness of the pelvic floor muscles is associated with lower back pain, incontinence, constipation, and sexual dysfunction. The use of Kegel exercises to correct this is commonplace and widely utilized by physical therapists and Pilates instructors. When employed correctly these exercises can strengthen the core, the lower back, and the pelvic organs. Problems occur when […]

The Importance of Functional Lats

There are very few muscles in the body whose functionality is as important as the lats. Because it connects the thoracolumbar fascia to the humerus, inhibition of the latissimus dorsi can cause compensations in the neck, shoulder, elbow, lower back, and gait. This article will detail these compensation patterns and how to resolve them. This […]