Thoracic Spine Treatment

Thoracic Spine Mobility | Top 5 Thoracic Mobility Drills & Exercises

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Thoracic mobility

Thoracic Spine Mobility | Top 5 Thoracic Mobility Drills & Exercises

Heneghan et al. in the year 2018 have shown that subjects who sit more than 7 hours a day and who are physically active for less than 150 minutes a week exhibit reduced thoracic mobility. 

A review by Joshi et al. (2019) has found that increased thoracic kyphosis was positively correlated with the presence of forward head posture. Although thoracic mobility was reduced in the neck pain population, posture was not uniformly associated with neck pain and disability.

So while posture might not have a correlation with pain, literature shows that:– It may be associated with psychological issues such as depression and chronic fatigue (Wilkes et al. 2017) and mental health is generally a negative prognostic factor for recovery in many musculoskeletal disorders.– Furthermore, an increased kyphosis limits overhead mobility (Barrett et al. 2016) and may therefore limit your patient’s ability to carry out certain sports efficiently

In the following we will show you our 5 favorite exercises to mobilize the thoracic spine:

  1. Preacher position (possibly with a stick)
  2. Bending backward over foam roller (with or without weight)
  3. Rotations on the wall
  4. Rotations on elbows
  5. Rotation in side-lying position

Optional: windmill for CTO

If you really want to change posture, it’s equally important to strengthen the thoracic spine. Check out our top 5 thoracic strengthening exercises.

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References:

Heneghan NR, Baker G, Thomas K, Falla D, Rushton A. What is the effect of prolonged sitting and physical activity on thoracic spine mobility? An observational study of young adults in a UK university setting. BMJ open. 2018 May 1;8(5):e019371.

Cho J, Lee E, Lee S. Upper thoracic spine mobilization and mobility exercise versus upper cervical spine mobilization and stabilization exercise in individuals with forward head posture: a randomized clinical trial. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2017 Dec;18(1):1-0.

Joshi S, Balthillaya G, Neelapala YR. Thoracic posture and mobility in mechanical neck pain population: A review of the literature. Asian spine journal. 2019 Oct;13(5):849.

Wilkes C, Kydd R, Sagar M, Broadbent E. Upright posture improves affect and fatigue in people with depressive symptoms. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry. 2017 Mar 1;54:143-9.

Barrett E, O’Keeffe M, O’Sullivan K, Lewis J, McCreesh K. Is thoracic spine posture associated with shoulder pain, range of motion and function? A systematic review. Manual therapy. 2016 Dec 1;26:38-46.

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