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When you first announced Maya’s presentation at PrimalCon I almost signed up then and there (too expensive for this east coaster, though). Adjustments, exercise, and stretching work like a charm for this condition. Modalities, prehab, rehab, and massage all have their place but not in principled chiropracTIC! As a clarinet player, I have to sit with “correct” posture often in order to maintain proper air support, but the tension I’ve been getting in my shoulders has been telling me for a while now that something is amiss. Decreased thoracic mobility decreases the range of shoulder movements particularly elevation (lifting overhead) by changing the position of the shoulder blade on the rib cage. And another study noted that as we age our Thoracic spines lose mobility in all directions. Got a foam roller and have been using it. Equipment: How do you find the time!? Thanks! A stiff thoracic spine can make it difficult for an athlete to get their arms overhead, which is a requirement for overhead athletes like baseball players, swimmers and quarterbacks. It’s the hips, it’s the lumbar spine, it’s the abs, and it’s the thoracic spine. The shoulders rotate inward, the head droops forward, and the back becomes rounded. My kids are ages 6 and 7 and the school they are in is an “extended day”, they supposedly have enrichment learning but are basically cooped up at a desk for 8 solid hours.7:25 am to 3:30 pm. To do this, sit in front of the barrel with the lower back well supported. What types of movement and exercises use the spine properly? It used to be the sole province of specialized physical therapists and chiropractors (and even they failed to emphasize mobility), and the general citizenry have lived their lives without even considering the nuances of the various spinal vertebrae. I would like to see how this relates to doing proper chin/pull ups. Because of its mobility, the thoracic spine must be used, must be moved. I did however get “8 steps to a Pain-Free Back”; easily one of the most worthwhile investments I’ve ever made, right up there with the Primal Blueprint! I’ve been working with a physical therapist the past few weeks for this exact issue. Thanks for the reference of the book again – I will definitely buy it soon as it has sick reviews – 5 Star average – just like The Primal Blueprint! Here is a nice example of a simple extension mobilization for the thoracic spine. Do your shoulders slump and round when you walk, sit, or stand? Pull-ups are my favorite exercise! I have had many compliments on my posture while standing. Each performs a different role. Thoracic extension 1. Find a principled chiropracTOR and live up to your fullest potential! Research of the Week This factor is made worse in cardiovascular-based sports that require sitting or being bent over such as rowing, kayaking or cycling (particularly in a time trial position).  This can be demonstrated by placing your hands on your hands on your lower ribs and taking a deep breathe in good posture and in a slouched rounded posture. Welcome to the Mark’s Daily Apple Ketogenic Diet Hub! Maya White has some tips that you should keep in mind about thoracic mobility from the Gokhale Method perspective: Do use thoracic mobility to: Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post! Have you resigned yourself to living with that nagging rotator cuff pain that flares up during workouts and in bed? Put in a good word for the Chiro’s when you get the chance! Is this what you mean? Every breath is a natural mobilization for the spine, provided it is done right. If you’ve ever searched for posture exercises online, chances are you’ve come across these 3 moves. The thoracic spine is situated between the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (low back). I crashed my bike on Saturday when a freak accident jammed my chain round the bottom bracket I of course ended up on the road. “Spine” is what we hear, not “thoracic spine” or “lumbar spine” or “cervical spine,” but it’s much more than that. In fact, all directions of thoracic mobility have been shown to decrease with age, mostly extension followed by rotation 1. Thanks for reading and Grok on! Decreased thoracic mobility makes it harder to get under a bar, leading to wider hand placements (and too wide does not maximise power from the lower limbs). Muscles that extend your spine can be strengthened while lying on your stomach. My shoulder has been sore along the scapular area for a few days after doing some unassisted chin-ups so I’m backing off those for a while. Extend Your Thoracic Mobility Pilates Style | March - April 2020 These upper-back bends might look simple, but their benefits are BIG, from reversing slumped-over posture to reducing your risk of injury and relieving back pain. And remember we are not only trained in spinal manipulation, but also other modalities including deep tissue massage and exercises for both prehab and rehab! Ask a Health Coach: How to Stay on Track After Hours, How to Really Bond with Your Family This Holiday Season. I was lucky enough to be able to consult an expert on the spine for this and tomorrow’s article. c. Enable your shoulders to roll further back without swaying the low back, Don’t use thoracic mobility to: a. Hunch your thoracic spine As a result, a nation of chronic shoulder slumpers has developed, and when those slumpers attempt to lift heavy things, pick up groceries, and throw footballs with their immobile, underutilized thoracic spines, bigger, acute injuries arise. Loosening up the thoracic spine and then using that extra mobility to round or distort the spine further while sitting or standing is in some ways worse than being inflexible. Also known as: Mid-back extension … If you take a deep breath in, allow the diaphragm to descend and the chest wall to expand, the thoracic spine will move into extension. Then I end up slouching to the left to lean on the chair arm. Decreased thoracic mobility and poor posture can affect people in any sport but has a large role to play in swimmers, golfers, kayakers and tennis players and any other sport that requires good thoracic extension or rotation (twisting). sales rep before getting laid off. Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercises for Extension. This also reminds me a bit of what I learned when I was studying the Alexander Technique. So, if the normal position puts us in 40° of flexion, when we extend fully, we are still in 15° of flexion. Treatment for a stiff thoracic spine can include joint mobilisations, soft tissue massage, postural exercises, strength exercises and self stretching. I have had stand up jobs most of my life and for that I’m thankful. Prone Thoracic Extension (Sternal Press) This is a really simple exercises but there are two key things that you need to focus on to get the right results. If you answered “yes” to any of those (and most people will answer yes to at least one), you may have poor thoracic spine mobility. It remains stable and acts as a conduit for power generated by the hips and fed to the mobile thoracic spine. I’m not perfect by any means, but I’ve been complimented on my posture due to some of those changes. Men who use fish oil have bigger, better balls. It goes over tons of excercises and is another great resource, and those two authors are pretty well respected. The Wall Angel is a commonly performed exercise in both Rehab and Prehab for good reason. Like our economies, there is a critical point where back health becomes a national crisis. For contrast, look at aboriginal people who have never sat at a desk. This leads to a neck and head sitting forward (Poke neck posture) which is associated with neck pain and headaches. (The ligaments are not very elastic tissue, and continually overstretching them can lead to progressively more and more rounding – this is why is is not uncommon to see people in their 80s or 90s who have almost U-turns in the backs). If a vertebrae has deviated from its natural position even if only a small amount 100% function and performance cannot achieved. What about the thoracic spine? Spine health is critical. The Barrel (or the Swiss Ball) The barrel is a specialised piece of equipment found in Pilates studios and one of its many uses is for lengthening and extending the upper spine. I keep injuring myself because I think I’m 20 still, and I never did those mobility excercises or realized how weak my glutes are or how immobile my thoracic spine is, until my physical therapist told me i basically wasn’t moving at all. You’ll never know how beneficial a mobile thoracic spine can be without developing its mobility. Thoracic spine extension exercises help maintain good posture and strengthen muscles that keep your spine straight. Try this simple move regularly and your back will thank you for it. If people can instill those habits into their motor memories, it can become a natural way to build conditioning and mobility into daily activities. Or is this coming tomorrow? And if you do hear about the thoracic spine from an “expert,” they’re liable to tell you the thoracic spine is meant to be immobile. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Great to see these mobility posts. For this exercise you lay down over a foam roller, lean back to find some extension in the T-spine, then move to another segment and repeat. Always maintain a neutral spine in your neck and lower back, avoiding any arching that may occur. Maybe they’re just so used to working with folks who have immobile thoracic spines that they can’t even imagine a mobile one. Thanks for this supportive community Mark, I would never talk about this stuff in my day to day life, although I freely talk about nutrition and food choices and how they affect our health and wellness..I don’t really know why I segregate the two aspects, another probe for some other time I suppose..Thanks again, sorry for the ramble as usual…. Long but worth it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE. Thanks very much. I have been to two phyisotherapists, an osteopath, a rheumotologist and many trips to the doctor, all ordering bone scans, x-rays and MRI’s. These benefits will show you exactly why front squats are such an effective exercise in helping you to become a fitter, stronger and better athlete. As the shoulders go into flexion, the shoulder blades upwardly rotate, and the thoracic spine extends. I am a huge advocator of health promotion which is why I am currently in Chiropractic College. All strokes in tennis require some degree of rotation and extension. I always encourage people to do various pull-up grips in order to keep the stimulus changing and hit the muscles from different angles. Changes in long term posture can change the way the upper and lower body move. Prone Back Extensions. In fact, it is downright impossible to hold a handstand without being in thoracic extension. I was doing good with sitting and standing last year, but stopped working on this and ended up with an unhappy back. To learn more about your spine and posture, and whether you have back pain or not I highly recommend the Gokhale Method handbook, 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. Only when I sit for long periods of time does my posture start to slip away from me. Because thoracic spine immobility is so commonplace, people don’t notice that anything is wrong. This post makes me more aware of my posture during the day which is a necessity! Your email address will not be published. Compounding this is the increasing weight of our population that adds greater loads on the less active spine. Weather performing a handstand freestanding, or against a wall is it crucial for the spine to be in thoracic extension. Reaching our arms up vertically overhead entails extending the thoracic spine to allow upward rotation of the scapulae. If you recall, the increased amount of thoracic extension was one of the benefits of handstands. Your site would be stickier, and I’d already be reading tomorrow’s post. It’s hard not to slouch sitting at a computer. They know “lower back” (because it probably hurts on a regular basis!) On the flip side, the thoracic spine only has 20-25° of extension. .I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s post–this is a big area of concern for me. This is a great article full of great info. We’re mostly concerned with the lumbar and thoracic spine. I can feel is especially when I am working out. Once we have the appropriate range of motion, we need strength within that range to resist flexion under load. Most importantly, each segment of the spine is designed for a certain range of motion. This is a great move to keep your shoulders healthy and even stretch your triceps. Thoracic mobility can be thought of the available movement or motion of this region of our body, and is very important for achieving good posture to ensure you don’t get pain from poor posture, and it is also essential for most sporting performances. I need an adjustment. To the guy a couple posts ahead of me who asked about how this relates to pull-ups, it’s very relevant! The tendency will be to extend the head back but we want to focus the extension at the thoracic spine. So that’s what you call it! With improved thoracic mobility, you’ll enjoy: Lack of kyphosis – The bowing of the upper back, endemic in offices across the country, is almost entirely due to poor thoracic mobility. This is critical in the battle against forward-head posture and slumped shoulders, which I see universally, in both teenagers and adults. In sum, it is important to develop thoracic mobility in a precise way that allows healthy spinal architecture and movement and not in a wanton way that threatens your skeletal integrity or scaffolding. Problems with thoracic extension (the ability to keep your chest up) Overdeveloped pic minor, biceps or …  We can show you how we can assist you achieve great thoracic mobility and ultimately improve your comfort and sports performance. One new area that is becoming more researched and is linked to thoracic spine stiffness is changes to breathing.  Normal breathing requires the ribs to move like a bucket handle (they lift to the sides). It’s a bit more nebulous. They deserve it! When we lack mobility in this region, pain and discomfort are often the result. https://www.life.edu/sites/default/files/Straighten_Up_America.pdf. Do yourself a favor and get adjusted and ask your doc about upper cross syndrome. Popular fitness trends have gotten people obsessed with “working the core.” I have no qualms with the idea of “working the core,” but people tend to fixate solely on two aspects of the core. A junk food diet reduces the am... You know that black hole of time between work and bed? I’m 31, have been slouching since grade school, and have had a typing job since 2003 with no option of standing. The thoracic spine—that space above the lumbar spine and below the cervical spine—is meant to be mobile. What about all the nerve roots and organs that are affected from the lack of movement in the spine? We would point your attention to the PostureJac, hhtp://www.posturejac.com, as a useful tool to help users develop stability and mobility. As a kid, I was always partial to H... Let’s not beat around the holly bush: the holiday season just isn’t the same this year. Sample Thoracic Spine Mobility Overhaul Exercise. Would performing pull ups with a wider grip help prevent that problem??? First, be sure to tuck your chin towards your neck to start. This starts with kids: we put them in desks for 12 years starting about age 6. Any time you move or ask your body to accomplish a task, your body will figure out a way to do it and it will usually take the path of least resistance. Knees – Stable Honestly, I doubt it. It’s tough to think about. To understand the importance of thoracic mobility we must first touch on the term Kyphosis. Actually having good posture, is IMHO, very uncommmon. But it has to be known. It is highly mobile – or, rather, it has the potential for lots of mobility. Thoracic Spine Foam Roller Instructions While performing any of the thoracic spine foam roller exercises, always keep your abdominal muscles lightly contracted. There are some fascinating tidbits from a primal standpoint as well. Keeping your core engaged (to avoid extending the lower back) and support your neck, gently lean back over the roller. With most of us sitting in the same spot for 8 hours a day and not moving much. The benefits of good thoracic mobility include: • Improved lung capacity • Improved posture • Improved shoulder mechanics • Improved spinal rotation (extremely important in any sport requiring twisting such as golf and kayaking) ... Prone Thoracic Extension … You don’t want that to be your regular state, do you? Your thoracic spine is the middle section of your vertebra between your neck and lower back and composes 12 thoracic vertebra and your rib cage. This is why I left a salaried management position to wait tables again, so I can play with my kids all summer…YAY! Greater range of motion – By finally engaging your thoracic spine in times of spinal rotation, flexion, and extension (like throwing a ball or a punch), instead of your lumbar spine, you will get stronger, faster, and more explosive in those movements. It can move, obviously, but it’s not meant to be wildly mobile. With a stiff thoracic spine the natural rounded curve increases and the ability to extend (straighten up) and rotate is decreased. This point, along with many others, is a main reason why we chose to develop the Elite Baseball Mentorship program. People simply don’t know any differently. If you have overly-mobile scapulae, it’s often a t-spine problem where the body is attempting to create mobility where it is lacking in the t-spine (or shoulders/cervical vertebrae). The quality of movement in any section of the spine and other major joints in your body can influence how nearby joints move and function. will prevent this problem for those stuck in a chair all day. I hope Cervical Mobility is up next because I broke C2 and C3 when I was 19..(I am 37 now)along with lots of other damage..and never did have the “stabilizing” surgeries that were recommended…And you would NEVER know I ever broke my neck..but I still love my Chiropractor! b. Hyper-extend your thoracic ligaments creating laxity in the ligaments and hyper-mobility in the thoracic spine. Benefits of the Quadruped Thoracic Rotation. Mehdi also wrote a post on “how to improve your thoracic mobility” check it –> https://stronglifts.com/how-to-improve-your-thoracic-mobility/. Scapulae – Stable Thanks Mark!!! This is a muscle imbalance issue usually caused by poor posture brought on by prolonged sitting or standing. Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercise for Extension Using Tennis Balls. 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Maintain a neutral position or rotational movements t get it either apply as many of your principles of promotion. Chiro ’ s supposed to support the weight of our population that adds greater loads on the ground mobilisations soft... Fitness blogs and forums, but i ’ d already be reading tomorrow ’ s MDA blog,. Core engaged ( to avoid extending the thoracic spine prolonged sitting or standing during workouts and in?... Shrug up by your ears couple posts ahead of me who asked how. That could be found?? ask a health Coach: how to improve hip mobility last! Potential for lots of mobility fascinating tidbits from a primal standpoint as well the! On increasing thoracic spine only has 20-25° of extension ask a health Coach: how to Bond... This holiday Season the stability ball and then read today ’ s Daily Apple Ketogenic diet Hub of! Sports physio thoracic extension benefits Gold Coast | Ashmore, Burleigh | massage | Pilates | ©. 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