Iliocostalis Thoracis T6 – Another heart attack mimic

images-1-1Iliocostalis Thoracis T6

Many times people have come to the clinic after having tests for angina pain and discovered that it was nothing more than a very frightening muscle. Obviously the angina tests performed by their GP showed nothing or they would not have arrived at the clinic in the first place. This muscle plays a very important role in movement of the scapula but it can be  the site of very painful and confusing pain referral for poorly trained therapists. Merely studying anatomy and physiology won’t provide the answers it requires study in bodywork mechanics for the musculo-skeletal for pain referral found in text books like Clinical Application Of Neuromuscular Techniques by Chaitow/DeLaney. Neuromuscular therapy has been popularised in many clinics world wide where practitioners such as Naturopaths who follow the best science have found it invaluable in solving muscle pain riddles

Using ordinary remedial massage techniques this clinic was getting a 70% success rate but once neuromuscular therapy was commenced it immediately improved to 99%, that is a big improvement. One of the most difficult muscles for ordinary remedial massage techniques to work on is the iliocostalis Thoracis T6 you need specialised techniques to get the best result when these muscles are inflamed and it is difficult to do without reaching the patients pain tolerances. One of the scary aspects is the sudden onset of pain while breathing and this is what scares the patient most. With the iliocostalis thoracis T6 even though doctors have run tests for heart problems the patient still is unsure whether or not the doctor hasn’t missed something and disaster is just around the corner.

What causes this muscle to become inflamed?

One of the easiest ways I know of inflaming this muscle is massaging someone with an iliocostalis thoracis T6 problem. Playing tennis or working out in a gym with weights will often do it as well. Iliocostalis Thoracis muscle fibres run from the upper 6 ribs to the lower 6 ribs and the transverse process of C7.

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Posted in Eden Massage and tagged , , .

My health qualifications:
Psychology, Homoeopathy(Never Used),Herbal Medicine, Nutrition(HSA)
Swedish and Remedial Massage 1983,Homoeopathy 1993(Never Used), Herbal Medicine, Nutritional Science 1981, Naturopathy 1991(HSA)
Bachelor of Naturopathy 2003 (NIHS)
Master of Clinical Science - Lifestyle Medicine 2013 Southern Cross University (SCU).
Association Membership
Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA)
Australian Register Of Naturopaths And Herbalists (ARONAH)
Founding Member of Australasian Society Of Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM)


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  17. Hi Harland,
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  20. Thank you very much for your reply. I am only in the country for another week (Australia that is) then back to the UK. I will look you up if I am still struggling with it when I am back over the Christmas period. Sounds like you are very adept at dealing with this issue.

  21. Hi Emma,
    I also should have said any whipping action such as ball throwing, casting a fishing line, serving in Tennis as well as gardening (pulling up weeds) or painting, scrubbing above your head will start this chain of events, so will sleeping with your arms above your shoulders.
    Good luck

  22. Hi Emma,
    In my clinic I see many cases of iliocostalis Thoracis T6 each week. I find Leon Chaitow’s method of treating this gives the best result – Ref ‘Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques – Chaitow and Delaney Volume 1)
    I find this inflammation is usually caused by inflammation and subsequent shortening of the Rotator Cuff muscles left and right Infraspinatus, which dominate the smaller muscles, much like a Sumo Wrestler in a Tug O’ War with a Jockey. Fixing this problem and making it last requires dealing with all of the associated muscles – Infraspinatus, Levator Scapulae, Supraspinatus and finally Iliocostalis Thoracis T6. Ischaemic pressure can remove the inflammation and restart the muscles Mitochondria (Kreb Cycle). Medical Doctors use anti-inflammatory medications but mostly the patient finishes in my clinic. Physios use exercise but once again a very high proportion finish up in here. Where do you live?

  23. Hello,

    I wanted to ask for your feedback on how to treat this condition. It has caused me significant problems and as you mention, it is incredibly prone to inflammation and does not seem to respond well to a lot of therapies or activities. Just wondered what your advice is on how best to treat it?

    Any advice would be amazing!!


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