If you spend the majority of your day sitting at a desk or if you have poor posture, you could be at a greater risk for thoracic spine pain, which causes pain in the lower back, neck, and shoulders. This pain is compounded by poor thoracic mobility
The thoracic spine is located in the back of the chest, known as the thorax, and sits between your shoulder blades at the base of your neck, extending to your waist area. If you sit for a long time at a computer, wear a heavy backpack, or are prone to slouch, you could be more likely to experience inflammation of the muscles and soft tissues in the thoracic spine.
Inflammation in the thoracic spine can reduce your thoracic mobility and cause you to experience middle back pain, shoulder pain, or neck pain.
The good news is that there are thoracic spine exercises that can help provide pain relief and improve your thoracic spine mobility. In this week’s Top 3 Tuesday, check out these three simple thoracic exercises that can help reduce your thoracic pain.
Note: Do not rotate from the lumbar spine. If you have poor thoracic mobility, this may be challenging, but with practice, this will become easier. Rotating from the lumbar spine can increase pain or cause injury.
Start by bringing one knee into half kneeling position, 90/90, with your hands crossed behind your head. Note the position of your elbow. Rotate your thoracic spine into the direction of your raised knee.
Next, bend sideways into a lateral bend and take a few deep breaths while holding the position.
Then come out of the lateral bend and rotate back into the direction of your knee. This should allow you to get deeper into the movement.
You’ll want to repeat this exercise a few times on each side and try to dig deeper into your stretch each time you rotate.
Our next move is the tactical frog position with a thoracic rotation. Start by getting on your hands and knees. Your knees should be in a wide position. Sit back into the position to lock out the lumbar spine or lower back.
Take one hand and put it on your rib cage on the opposite side of your body. That will help you get the best rotation possible in your middle back. Next, rotate up and across, away from your hand on your ribs. Hold the position for 8-10 seconds while taking deep breaths.
Resume the starting position and then put your other hand on your rib cage and stretch in the opposite direction.
We’ll end with the active prayer stretch. Start by getting on your hands and knees. Place your hands on the ground, overlapping, and place your forehead on your hands.
Press your elbows into the ground to set your shoulder blades. Try to keep your back straight – not rounded. This motion stretches your middle and upper back.
Hold the position to get a good stretch. Press and release to deepen the stretch and get a better range of thoracic mobility. Let your chest try to fall to the floor in between your shoulder blades.
These three thoracic exercises should definitely help increase your thoracic mobility and help minimize your neck, back, and shoulder pain. If you try them out, let us know how you felt afterwards. You can find Twin Cities Movement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.