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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 69 L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 69 TAKEAWAY: Functionally, the spinalis and other erector spinae muscles provide broader stabilization and movement than the deeper transversospinalis group. Together, the erector spinae and transversospinalis groups maintain upright posture of the spine against gravity. Palpating the Spinalis Positioning: client prone. 1. Standing at the client's side facing their spine, locate the thoracic spinous processes with the fingertips of both hands. 2. Slide your fingertips laterally, past the lamina groove onto the erector spinae muscles. 3. Strum back and forth across the erector spinae muscles with the fingertips of both hands, locating the most medial edge formed by the spinalis. 4. Have the client gently lift their head and extend their trunk to ensure proper location. Spinal Mobility Quick Assessment Positioning: client in quadruped (hands and knees). 1. Stand at the client's side with an unobstructed view of their spinal curvature. 2. Instruct the client to "round" their spine into an upward curve. 3. Next, have the client relax, allowing their spine to "sag" into a downward curve. 4. Look for individual segment motion with each movement and note any areas that remain "flat," as segments move in groups. Weakness in the deeper transversospinalis muscle group may cause compensation by the overlying erector spinae group. This presents as hypertonicity in the erector spinae muscles, decreased mobility in the individual joints of the vertebral column, and overall stiffness in the movements of the spine as large segments of the vertebral column move as units. Reducing overactivity in the erector spinae muscles and restoring function of the underlying transversospinalis muscles is essential to a healthy spine and functional movement. Christy Cael is a licensed massage therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Her private practice focuses on injury treatment, biomechanical analysis, craniosacral therapy, and massage for clients with neurological issues. She is the author of Functional Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Palpation for Manual Therapists (New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010; Contact her at © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Willliams & Wilkins.

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