Thoracic mobilization

Thoracic mobilization. The thoracic spine is the upper part of the back where the ribs attach to the spine.  The upper back region is difficult to get moving when it is tight. As chiropractors, we see this area giving may people aches and pains.  This blog is to help people explore some simple things that will help. Try these motions for pain relief, motion improvement, and pain relief. Your back will thank you.

Thread the Needle

The “Thread the Needle” mobilization gets rotation into the upper back. It decreases muscle tension and increases joint mobility. Muscles like the upper trap, rhomboids, thoracic paraspinals, and levator muscles get stretched. The joints of the spine between the shoulder blades get mobilized as well. There are 12 vertebra here that can feel neglected after hunching forward all day. You should perform this exercise on both sides. Don’t stretch so hard that it is painful. The stretch is most useful when held for 30 seconds or more on each side.

Foam Roller Mobilization

Thoracic flexion exercise
Foam rollers are a great way to get motion into the thoracic spine. The muscle gets pressure on them when rolling. This is like a massage for the tight muscles in this area. The big win is when each joint mobilizes as it rolls up the foam roller as well. The vertebrae have to stretch past each other during the process. Flexion or extension promotes extra motion for the vertebra in each direction. Rolling up and down the spine for one minute, flexing and extending with each pass can offer relief.
 
The picture on the far right shows the foam roller resting long ways down the back. Just balance on the foam roller. Try not to rock side to side. This will engage the muscle of stabilization around the spine. The spine is in an extended position. This is the opposite of how we move each day. Balance in this position for one minute as well.

Hands on the Wall Thoracic Opener

Hands on the wall thoracic opener is done from a kneeling position. Place hands on the wall about head height. Rock forward and stretch the chest towards the floor. The head will begin to drop below the level of the hands. The arms will stay in the same place on the wall as the back extends.  This is another way to achieve a deep extension mobilization.

Thoracic extension mobilization

Standing Thoracic Rotation

Thoracic exercise

Sometimes it is important not to gloss over the simple stuff. Just rotate while standing. You will feel this stretch in the low back as well, but the thoracic region gets a rotation mobilization as well. It is worth using this stretch if you suffer from back pain in the upper back area. Try it.

At Cascade Chiropractic and Wellness, our goal is producing helpful information. We want our patients to have easy access to simple information. Check out some of the other blogs on neck exercises, back pain exercises, or headache that may also help. For further information about us check out the webpage