Thoracic spine

by Laura
(Sydney, NSW, Australia)

What kind of exercises can you recommend to stretch a tight thoracic spine?

Comments for Thoracic spine

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Feb 26, 2013
by: Laura

Hi Sarah

Thanks for the advice. I definitely don't sand furniture but I do have a desk job. I'll check out your book for more advice.

Feb 26, 2013
A tight thoracic spine
by: Sarah says

Hello Laura,
You will see in my book 'Body in Action' that there is a whole section on the Thoracic Spine and exercises and stretches on how to mobilise your own thoracic spine. Usually, it needs both rotatory mobilisation and extension decompression (bending it backwards out of its stoop) and the best way to do this is using a BackBlock. The thoracic spine tends to get stiff with a lot of sedentary work (computers included) because the head is poked forward, carried for long periods in front of the line of gravity. But strenuous activity with the arms (such as sanding furniture say, or using hedge clippers) dramatically reinforces the strength and 'pulling in' power of the pectoral muscles at the front of your arms and cherst and this makes the Thx spine stiffer. Any pulling down action such as swimming freestyle, or simply some of the weights regimes in gymnasiums will also do this. Dont know if this is you!?
Most stiff thoracic spines also need a lot of rotation because the twelve sets of ribs insert into either side of the thoracic spine, tending to make it tighten up more quickly. For this reason, people with breathing difficulties also often have stiff thoracic spines.

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