Worried about becoming a hunchback?
Have you ever slaved away at your desk for hours, at the mercy of your keyboard? After all that, do you find sitting up straight an impossible mission?
Want to improve your posture but find it hard to sit or stand up straight?
Ever suffered from shoulder or neck issues?
If you answered yes to any of these questions or maybe even to all of them then you will definitely benefit from improving the mobility or movement in your thoracic spine (middle-upper back).
The spine can be divided up into three areas: Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar. There is a lot of information around about the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine), but not many people know a lot about their thoracic spine and how important it is. If you’ve never had pain in that area or in the surrounding areas, you may not realise just how stiff it can get.
The truth of the matter is we spend all day doing things in front of us. Whether you are a hairdresser, office worker, stay at home mum or even a physiotherapist, you will inevitably end up spending a large portion of your day hunched forward over something!
Everybody has a natural curve in their thoracic spine, known as a kyphosis. Part of the ageing process can cause this curve to increase but maintaining your thoracic mobility can help to improve your posture and even prevent this curve from becoming more pronounced.
Below are some exercises that you can use to improve your thoracic mobility. It is best to do them whilst lying on a rolled up towel or even a foam roller if you have one at home or at your gym.
- Shoulder Flexion: Take your arms up to shoulder height and take them up and over your head as far as you can, without causing any shoulder discomfort. Come back to the starting position and repeat 10-15 times.
- Chest Flies: Taking your arms up to chest height gently lower both arms out to the side as far as is comfortable. Keep your elbows slightly bent to keep the pressure off your shoulders. Return to the start position and repeat 10-15 times.
- Circles: Take your arms up to shoulder height, palms facing each other. Now take both arms overhead, then out to the side and back around until you get back to the starting position, as if you are drawing circles with your hands. Repeat 10-15 times.
If you would like some more advice on how to keep your thoracic spine mobile and/or improve your posture, or are suffering from pain or injury in this area, don’t hesitate to contact your Bend + Mend Sydney Physiotherapist today.