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The thorax forms the largest region of the spine and trunk and is essential for respiration while ensuring effective transfer of loads through the kinetic chain for optimal whole body function and performance. Trunk rotation and rotational control are essential for performance in many functional and sports activities. While much “core stability” has focused around the lumbar spine and pelvis, the thorax is the centre of trunk rotation, and all of the abdominal muscles are innervated from the thorax. A dysfunctional thorax can drive asymmetrical abdominal function, making it difficult to achieve symmetry and balanced rotational control no matter what the cues or training activity.
Based on her clinical ideas and research work on the thorax over the past 15 years, Dr. LJ Lee has proposed multiple mechanisms by which a dysfunctional thorax can be the “Primary Driver” for pain and problems anywhere from your head to your toes – including pelvic girdle pain, groin pain / hip impingement, incontinence, disc injuries, lower extremity overuse syndromes such as Achilles tendinopathy, head and neck pain, and shoulder girdle dysfunction. Thus, a patient with a dysfunctional thorax can present with a wide variety of symptoms and functional problems.