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.
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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
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.
Standing Thoracic Rotation
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.