Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Since the muscles of the LL create lateral flexion,
restrictions in the myofascia or excess muscle tensions
will show up in postures involving lateral flexion or in
restrictions to free movement on the opposite side, i.e.
restriction of lateral flexion to the right usually resides
in the left Lateral Line.
Since the LL from the trochanter to the ear is a series
of switchbacks, the involvement of this line with spiral
and rotational movement is worth noting, as we have in
the section below on walking. Rotational movement will
be taken up more fully in the next chapter.
Assessment and stretches
• A quite simple way to assess the LL is to stand in a
doorway (or anywhere where you or the client can
get a firm grip on a bar or something steady
overhead) and hang from the hands (Fig. 5.15). For
self-observation, you can feel where the tissues of
the LL resist the call of gravity. When observing a
client, look for asymmetries in the two sides as the
person hangs from the arms.
• In terms of overall stretches, the half-moon stretch,
a simple lean to one side with the arms overhead, is
the most obvious overall stretch for the LL (see also
Fig. 10.37, p. 222). The LL links into the Arm Lines
seamlessly, but for now it is not important to our
purposes that the arm be stretched. It is, however,
very necessary to be aware of whether the upper
body leans forward or backward from the hip (in
other words, a rotation of the trunk), as the best
assessment depends on achieving pure lateral
flexion, without sagittal flexion or extension. The
head moves away from the neck, the neck from the
rib cage, and the ribs should fan away from each
other. As the waist opens, the ribs move away from
the hip, the iliac crest moves away from the
• The Triangle pose and its variants (see Fig. 4.17B
and Ch. 10) are a good stretch for the lower part of
the LL; the inversion at the ankle ensures a stretch
in the peroneals as the subtalar joint is passively
section of trapezius
Levator scapulae
Fig. 5.13 The levator scapulae would seem to fulfill the same
requirements as the splenius as part of the Lateral Line, but this is
a common 'mistake' that the body sometimes makes, involving
the shoulder in the stability of the trunk. A similar 'mistake' is
made in substituting the anterior edge of the trapezius for the
nects the transverse processes of the cervicals with the
apex of the scapula. This muscle parallels the splenius
and is well situated to counterbalance any anterior pull
on the cervicals or head (Fig. 5.13). The problem is that
the scapula is not a firm base of support, and the result
of reversing the origin and insertion to use levator scap-
ulae as 'cervicus-preventus-going-forwardus' is often
that the scapula begins to be pulled up toward the back
of the neck. Clients will often report pain and trigger
points at the lower attachment of the levator, ascribing
it to 'stress', when the actual cause is their reaction to
the ubiquitous 'head forward' posture (Fig. 5.14).
The leading edge of the trapezius, attached to the
outer edge of the clavicle, can similarly substitute for
the more stable and axial sternocleidomastoid, again
drawing the shoulder assembly into the support of the
head. This pattern can now be understood as a misuse
of the LL, which should underlie and be relatively inde-
pendent of the shoulder assembly. It is when the dynamic
balance of the 'X's of the LL get disturbed that the
levator or trapezius try to take over the job. (See also the
discussion of the levator and trapezius in their proper
role, as part of the Arm Lines, in Ch. 7, p. 158.)
General movement treatment
Almost any kind of lateral flexion of the trunk and
abduction of the leg will engage the LL, stretching it on
one side and contracting it on the other.
Fig. 5.14 The 'head forward'
posture necessitates the
involvement of the shoulder
girdle with the stability of the
head on the trunk, a common
but inefficient compensatory
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