The latissimus dorsi aka ‘lats’ fans from the back of the hip bone (ilium), along the bottom half of the spine, the last 3 or 4 ribs and finally ends up attached to the upper arm. All this real estate and so little function. The lats main job is to move the arm back and towards the body as well as rounding the shoulder inwards.
Mid back pain is the latissimus dorsi’s biggest hint that all is not well. The usual response is to stretch painful area. This may provide short term relief but does not get to the source.
Your massage therapist will recognize the hidden signs and symptoms of trigger points in the lats. So, if your therapist doesn’t seem to be addressing your pain but is instead working along the side of your body, they are likely onto the real culprit causing your discomfort.
Let them explore, they are onto something good.