Thoracic Spine Stability Technique
Wharton's Simple Solution No. 9
May 24, 2013
If there is one area where most of us hold our tension, it's without question the upper back. We feel a knot between our shoulder blades that just won't go away. Gravity and repetitive stress are the main culprits -- most things we do in life involve a forward position. Our upper backs and shoulders become rounded forward, and we begin to hunch or lean forward. Our midback muscles, designed to act as braces to maintain erect posture, have become overloaded and are now on strike. These strained muscle fibers, fascia and connective tissue can begin to compress nerve pathways. Discomfort in this area can make any activity -- much less running -- unbearable.
WHAT IT IS
The thoracic spine is located in the upper portion of your trunk between your neck and abdomen. The 12 thoracic vertebrae of this region make it the longest section of the spine. The main muscles in this area, the erector spinae (translated as the "muscles that hold up the spine"), run through this midback area, keeping your back in an upright alignment. If these muscles are weak, it can lead to misalignment and postural defects. Thoracic stability allows us to run tall and upright, with our shoulders back and arms swinging freely.
Do modified trunk extensors to strengthen your thoracic spine stabilizing muscles:Lie flat on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Place a pillow or towel-roll under your pelvis. Lift your head and chest off the surface and roll your shoulders upward. Pause for a moment at your natural end range of motion. Slowly return to start position. Repeat for two sets of eight to 10 repetitions.
(I think this article left out a little information in the " what it is" section but bottom line is true, activate your back and engage your thoracic muscles and it will decrease your upper back pain)
Prevent. Perform. Recover.
Equinox Health Clinic