The functions of Latissimus Dorsi Muscle located at the back of human body
The structure of the human body is basically a skeletal system composed of several bones, ligaments and tendons which are kept intact and in place with the help of muscles. There are total of 206 bones in adult human but the number of muscles are much more. Although there is no exact figure for number of muscles but a human has around 640 to 850 muscles. There are three broad categories of muscles skeletal, cardiac and smooth. The skeletal muscles are type of voluntary muscles because the human has control over them like when moving your arm, leg or bending your back. The cardiac and smooth muscles are involuntary muscles and they work according to physiological conditions inside the human body. The cardiac muscle form the word signifies muscles of the heart and smooth muscles are found in the stomach walls, veins and artery walls. Latissimus Dorsi is one of the back muscles found in humans.
Importance of Latissimus Dorsi:
Latissimus Dorsi is the widest muscle present in humans, the word Latissimus Dorsi comes from Latin means ‘broadest muscle of the back’. It covers the lower part of the back and side of the ribcage. It is thin and triangular in shape and its main purpose is the seamless movement of the shoulder and extension of the arm. Latissimus Dorsi muscle is not that commonly used in routine activities and is mostly used when performing several fitness exercises such as swimming, push-ups and pull-ups. It is also known as the swimmer’s muscle. Some of the primary activities that involve Latissimus Dorsi muscle are
- When moving the arm across and towards the body
- When arm is lifted above the head, Latissimus Dorsi pulls the arm down
- When twisting the arm in towards the body
Apart from the primary actions Latissimus Dorsi supports other movement of the body such as bending the waist, breathing and moving the hips sideways, backwards and forwards.
The causes of Latissimus Dorsi pain and its symptoms:
Like every muscle undergoes some sort of strain and pain, injuries to Latissimus Dorsi is rare but being the broadest muscle it may not function properly sometimes which may cause pain in the shoulders, upper part of the arm and abdominal region. The lower back pain which is the most common muscular pain may also be a result of Latissimus Dorsi muscle strain. Some of the symptoms include
- Pain in the front of the shoulder
- Pain felt near the center of the back around the shoulder blade region
- Experiencing pain, numbness and a tingling sensation when you extend your arms
- When you raise your hands overhead and feel pain
- When a person faces some difficulty in breathing
There are some activities that can cause Latissimus Dorsi strain and pain such as exercising rigorously which includes raising your shoulders for longer duration of times, swimming continuously without breaks, swinging a tennis racket or baseball bat, rowing and while performing push-ups and pull-ups. People suffering from Latissimus Dorsi strain may use special therapy gel or hot cold packs to reduce the muscle fatigue and ease the muscles.