STEP 1: How to Locate the Iliocostalis Thoracis Trigger Point #One
The Iliocostalis has three parts, two of which commonly develop trigger points. Here, we’ll be talking about all three with emphasis on the two that specifically develop trigger points. The Iliocostalis is a part of the group of Erector Spinae muscles, which help keep the spine and the back erect or straight. The Iliocostalis, as the name suggests, spans from the Ilium (part of the hip girdle) to the costal region, commonly known as the ribs. The three parts are the Iliocostalis Lumborum, the Iliocostalis Thoracis, and the Iliocostalis Cervicis.The Iliocostalis Lumborum originates from both the sacrum and the ilium, and is inserted on the lower six or seven ribs, appearing about four finger widths away from the spine. The Iliocostalis Thoracis arises from the lower six ribs, and attaches to the upper six ribs and the seventh cervical vertebra. In short, they arise from where the Iliocostalis Lumborum ends. The Iliocostalis Cervicis, by comparison, goes from the third to sixth (3,4,5,6) rib, the fourth to sixth (C4, C5, C6) cervical vertebrae. The Iliocostalis group unilaterally helps bend the back to either side. When working together, they also help in arching the back. The muscle you will be working on is the Iliocostalis Thoracis.
STEP 2: How to Self-Release the Iliocostalis Thoracis Trigger Point # One
You will need a ball and a wall to self-massage the Iliocostalis Thoracis. To locate the trigger point, feel for sensitive spots next to and all along the spine, close to the inner border of the scapula. Place the ball over your TrP and lean back on it. Hold for about 30 seconds and release. Please DO NOT use this method for any other trigger points above the chest (i.e. the neck (the Iliocostalis Cervicis area)). We also recommend finding a qualified professional for anything more intense.
STEP 3: How to Stretch the Iliocostalis ThoracisTrigger Point # One
There are two easy ways to stretch the Iliocostalis muscles. The first way is sometimes referred to as the child’s pose in Yoga. Sit on your knees and bend forward with your torso so your forehead is reaching the ground. Stretch both of your hands forward and try to push them out as far ahead as you can. You will feel the stretch over your back. This is a very simple stretch, so you will have to hold it a little longer, say for about two minutes or so before releasing.Another way of stretching the Iliocostalis Thoracis is by stretching each side separately. Sit down on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. If you intend to stretch the right side, bend your left leg at the knee and bring your left foot beyond the right. Place your left hand on the floor behind you for support. Bring your right hand around your left knee with the arm straight. Hold for about 30 seconds to a minute before doing the same on the other side.