The latissimus dorsi muscle is the broadest muscle of the back. This muscle is commonly known as the “lat” and is important for participating in common activities such as pull-ups, chin-ups, lat pulldowns, and swimming.
Injuries within this location can be extremely painful often including rips and tears. This can be a source of shoulder and neck pain and can cause tendonitis of the shoulder joint. Also, since the use of the latissimus dorsi is essential for breathing, injury can cause severe pain while performing this activity. The most common causes of injury are overuse of the muscle, poor technique while exercising, and exercising without warming up. Symptoms of injury can include lower, middle, and upper back pain; difficulty breathing; tingling in the lower arms; and pain at the back of the shoulders.
Treatment methods can include physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, and stretching. So, the next time you chop wood or reach for that jar of pickles on the top shelf, be kind to your latissimus dorsi and don’t over exert.