Aug 11

Join the (Thoracic) Movement to Treat Back Pain!

thoracic-spineDo you get neck and low back pain while performing twisting movements? Do you find it difficult to lift something heavy or overhead due toshoulder pain? What about the sharp pain in your chest when you breathe? If you have answered yes to any of those questions, it is very likely you have anissue with your thoracic spine mobility!

The thoracic spine, or the upper back, is the section of your spine between your neck and lower back and consist of 12 vertebral levels.

The thoracic spineis designed for mobility-flexion, extension and rotation, and it allows you to twist in one direction while your pelvis remains stationary, i.e. reaching for your seatbelt in the car. It also provides a mobile attachment for your ribs. The lumbar spine is designed for stability and it is supposed to support the weight of your body and resist excessive twisting movements.

White Thoracic1

However, it has been found that an immobile thoracic spine, as seen in many people who sit and slump in their chair all day, is connected to too much movement in the lumbar spine. This in turn causes fatigued muscles, wear and tear on the vertebral joints, and increased chance of soft tissue injuries, including disc herniations.

Therefore, the first few things that your physiotherapist will do at Balance Physiotherapy when you come in for low back pain is to assess your range of motion in your entire spine. It is not uncommon for them to find some restrictions in your thoracic spine that causes the lumbar spine to move too much in one way and thus causing your pain.

Your physiotherapist will start with what we call mobilizations to the stiff areas of your thoracic spine.

Once the stiff segment(s) are moving easier, the physiotherapist will prescribe some easy but important exercises to maintainthe new movement that you have gained in the clinic. You will find that your low back is not as sore as before because you are moving the upper back more and decreasing the amount of movement in lumbar spine. Join the (Thoracic) Movement to Treat Back Pain!

-Erika Turner, Registered Physiotherapist

Do you want to encourage a loved one to become healthier? Consider a gift certificate. We offer gift certificates for both massage therapy and physiotherapy. They also make great birthday presents!

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