The pectoralis minor muscle and shoulder movement-related impairments and pain: Rationale, assessment and management

Phys Ther Sport. 2016 Jan:17:1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Oct 22.


The adaptive shortening or tightness of the pectoralis minor muscle (PMm) is one of the potential biomechanical mechanisms associated with altered scapular alignment at rest and scapular motion during arm elevation (scapular dyskinesis) in patients with shoulder complaints. This masterclass briefly reviews the role of the PMm in shoulder movement-related impairments and provides a critical overview of the assessment of PMm tightness and the conventional approaches to increase its resting length and extensibility. A rehabilitation approach focused on PMm stretching and simultaneous optimization of the kinematic chain of arm elevation is also discussed, hoping to improve the management of shoulder movement-related impairments and pain.

Keywords: Adaptive shortening; Scapular dyskinesis; Soft tissue tightness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology*
  • Shoulder Pain* / drug therapy
  • Shoulder Pain* / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Pain* / rehabilitation