An initial analysis of thoracic spine movement during unilateral arm elevation

Susan G. Stewart, Gwendolen A. Jull, Joseph Kim Fai Ng, Julie M. Willems

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The thoracic spine is a complex area of three dimensional movement which exhibits coupled movement patterns. There is no data quantifying and describing the thoracic movement occurring with the functional activity of unilateral arm elevation. A Fastrak 3-D Movement System was used to measure and describe the pattern of motion in the upper (T1-6) and lower thoracic (T6-12) regions during full arm elevation in 20 young female adults. Analysis revealed that motion occurred in both upper and lower thoracic regions although its magnitude in any region or direction was no more than six degrees. Movement was coupled in nature but lateral flexion and rotation could be related either ipsilaterally or contralaterally. There was considerable variation in movement patterns between individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Movement analysis
  • Shoulder movement
  • Thoracic spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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