Stretches To Improve Middle Back Range of Motion
So I get asked a lot about being stiff and tight through the mid back area of the spine. This area is pretty commonly restricted due to poor posture. The muscles and ligaments in your back have to work hard to keep you balanced when you slouch (how many of you are hearing your mother say sit up straight right now?). The muscular tension locks up your mid- back range of motion particularly rotation (twisting) and lateral bending of the spine and rib cage.
Overworking these muscles leads to restrictions of the spinal vertebra, which leads to further spasming and tightness of the mid back muscles, which leads to aches and pains and often an inability to take a full normal deep breath, which leads to shallow breathing which sets off the sympathetic nervous system stress response which…. Well you get the point. A lot of bad things happen to the body when the middle back (thoracic) spine is not mobile.
So I wanted to give you one of my favorite stretches to improve your middle back range of motion and thus improve your whole life (a little bit of a reach but not by much)
Thoracic Mobility Stretch:
1. Start by sitting in a chair with your knees together. Cross your right foot over your left foot keeping your knees and feet together. Put your hands behind your head.
2. Rotate to the right as far as you can (until you meet resistance) – don’t let your knees separate.
3. Once you get to that rotation point you want to bend (laterally flex) your body to the right.
4. In this position, take the biggest breath you can and exhale. Repeat the breath again.
5. Come back up from the bent position but remain rotated. From this position rotate further to the right and you should note that you can turn a good bit more than you did originally.
6. Now you want to repeat this process on the left side. So you would sit with your left foot over the right foot, knees together and rotate to the left, then bend to the left, then 2 big breaths, then rotate further to the left.
This is a great stretch to do after sitting at the computer for a while but can be done at any time. To get the most benefits from this you should do this stretch at least once daily. It takes less than a minute to do so you can’t say you don’t have the time to do it (a few of you were thinking that I am sure).
I hope the start of your summer is going great, and as always thank you for letting me be your Chiropractor in Raleigh.
In Good Health,
Dr. Ashforth or Ashforth Chiropractic Family Wellness Center