We appreciate the comments and constructive criticism of our recently published manuscript in Journal of Hand Therapy
1by Ebaugh, Finley and Goodstadt. The authors offer a valuable and thought-provoking perspective on muscle length and extensibility and how those properties affect movement. We think it is important to first define extensibility and shortening as these are different yet related properties of the muscle. Extensibility is described as the muscles' ability to extend or lengthen, whereas shortening is a decrease in muscle resting length. The amount of extensibility depends on the ability of both active and passive structures to lengthen, is related to tissue stiffness, and may also be influenced by an individual's tolerance to end-range stretch discomfort. Muscle resting length results from a combination of anatomy, posture, and habitual use and likely reflects some adaptations in active and passive tissue structures that may also affect the amount of excursion possible. Based on these descriptions of excursion and length, we believe that different instruments and/or methods are needed to measure each property. Although Finley et al
- Rosa D.P.
- Borstad J.D.
- Pogetti L.S.
- Camargo P.R.
Effects of a stretching protocol for the pectoralis minor on muscle length, function, and scapular kinematics in individuals with and without shoulder pain.
J Hand Ther. 2017; 30: 20-29
2have suggested a method to measure extensibility of the pectoralis minor (PM), we propose that this measurement may simply be measuring PM length change rather than extensibility. Measuring extensibility should include reaching the end range of a muscles' length through positioning and some quantification of resistance to lengthening. For PM, the positioning required to reach end range of the muscle is some combination of scapula upward rotation, elevation, retraction, and posterior tilting, but the individual quantities and sequence of this combination is unknown. In addition, the influence of other muscles' extensibility on positioning for PM may also limit the ability to reach end range. We attempted to simplify this problem by using only scapula retraction as an estimate of end range but admit that the validity of this positioning is lacking.
- Finley M.
- Goodstadt N.
- Soler D.
- Somerville K.
- Friedman Z.
- Ebaugh D.
Reliability and validity of active and passive pectoralis minor muscle length measures.
Braz J Phys Ther. 2017; 21: 212-218
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- Effects of a stretching protocol for the pectoralis minor on muscle length, function, and scapular kinematics in individuals with and without shoulder pain.J Hand Ther. 2017; 30: 20-29
- Reliability and validity of active and passive pectoralis minor muscle length measures.Braz J Phys Ther. 2017; 21: 212-218
- Reliability of measuring pectoralis minor muscle resting length in subjects with and without signs of shoulder impingement.Braz J Phys Ther. 2016; 20: 176-183
- Increasing muscle extensibility: a matter of increasing length or modifying sensation?.Phys Ther. 2010; 90: 438-449
- The effect of long versus short pectoralis minor resting length on scapular kinematics in healthy individuals.J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2005; 35: 227-238
Published online: August 08, 2017
© 2017 Hanley & Belfus, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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- Resting pectoralis minor muscle length: An accurate way to determine if the muscle is shortened?Journal of Hand TherapyVol. 30Issue 4
- PreviewWe are writing to comment on the interesting article by Rosa et al1 entitled “Effects of a stretching protocol for the pectoralis minor muscle on muscle length, function, and scapular kinematics in individuals with and without shoulder pain.” In this study, the authors investigated the effects of a pectoralis minor muscle (PMm) stretching program on pain, function, PMm length, and scapular kinematics in participants, with or without shoulder pain, who had a shortened PMm. The authors reported an improvement in pain and function in those with shoulder pain; however, no differences were noted in PMm length or scapular kinematics in either group following the stretching program.