Reduce Thoracic Spine Mobility Restrictions

Reduce Thoracic Spine Blog

Working from home, and sitting all day? If you have upper back pain, neck pain, or pain between your shoulder blades, your thoracic spine likely has restricted mobility.
Posture and the ergonomics of your work station can have a large contribution in explaining your thoracic spine mobility restrictions, but the largest contributor often is the lack of activity. If you work from home, you are likely sitting for a minimum of 40 hours a week. That is 40 hours/week in one position for a prolonged period of time. No wonder you are stiff! The thoracic spine is designed to be the most mobile part of our spine, so let’s keep it that way.
The exercises shown in this video can be performed without even moving from your chair, and only needing a rolled-up towel. No excuses now! Both of these exercises combined take no longer than 5 minutes to perform. Ideally, you want to do them at the top of every hour of sitting.
Video Demonstration

Thoracic Extension

Place a towel roll in between your back and the chair. Use the towel roll as a fulcrum to get an extension at the segment of your spine that the towel is touching. Perform 10 repetitions and move the towel up or down an inch or two and repeat.

Thoracic Rotation

Lean forward to place your left elbow on the inside portion of your left knee. Then rotate open trying to bring your right hand as far behind you as you can. Make sure to follow your right hand with your eyes. Repeat for your other side as well. Perform 15 repetitions on both sides.
-Scott Robin, PT, DPT (Lincoln Park)