Dr. Lank May 2014
Neck or Back Pain? Why you need to meet Mr. Thoracics!
There is an often overlooked region of your body known as the thoracic spine that gets left out of most conversations thanks to the popularity of its painful siblings, the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) spine.
The thoracic spine consists of 12 vertebrae starting at the base of your neck and extending south towards the lower back and serves as the harness for the ribcage. This region of your spine is critical for rotation and generalized movement. Unfortunately, most people tend to neglect this part of the body which overtime leads to increased stiffness due in part to poor posture from sitting, and lack of appropriate stretching and strengthening routines.
As a result of this stiffening, the neck and lower back are often subjected to increased mobility demands and subsequent pain. The neck and lower back are designed with stable characteristics, the ability to remain relatively unchanged when under the presence of external forces. The mid back or thoracics however, scream for mobility and without it, sacrifices the entire kinetic chain.
One of the keys to alleviating your neck and lower back pain is by reintroducing yourself to Mr. Thoracics. Focusing on breaking down the years of neglect and reestablishing a mobile environment will allow the neck and lower back to assume their natural roles of stability. This will lead to less stress, strain and chance of dysfunction in those regions.
The great thing for you is that it's actually much easier than one would think to turn this ship around. One of the easiest things in the world to help mobilize this region is a chiropractic adjustment to the thoracic spine. This maneuver introduces a significant amount of movement in the spine and helps to correct any abnormal positioning that might be contributing to the overall dysfunction of the mid back. Combining the adjustment with soft tissue work such as massages, Active Release Technique, foam rolling and corrective exercises/stretches will undoubtedly reignite your mobility.
Here are a couple exercises you can try right now to help put you on the right track!
T's on a Physio Ball
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