by Stephen Patti, DC
Hey guys! Dr. Steve coming to you here with some information about your MID-BACK.
The thoracic spine (T-spine) is the section of the spine located between the neck (cervical spine) and low back (lumbar spine) and is made up of 12 vertebrae. What makes the T-spine unique is that it is the only part of the spine that directly connects with the rib cage via small joints called costovertebral joints. Though small, these articulations are incredibly influential and notably limit the motion of the T-spine in comparison to the more mobile cervical and lumbar spine. To learn a little more of the anatomy of the thoracic spine check this out.
A few important considerations with respect to the thoracic spine are alignment, mobility and the effect it has on the shoulder blades (aka scapulae).
There are a number of injuries that can be avoided by having a healthy thoracic spine that moves properly, including; rotator cuff impingements, shoulder dislocations and bicipital tendonitis. Listed below are a few things you can do to get your thoracic spine moving the way it should in order to help with proper biomechanics and injury prevention.
Exercises to help mobilize T-spine
Refer to this video that demonstrates how you can use a lacrosse ball to help with tight muscles in your thoracic region
The exercises listed above are a great starting point to improve your thoracic mobility.
In addition to these at home exercises, chiropractic adjustments are an even better way to get the joints of the spine moving. Adjustments provide input into the joints to stimulate mechanoreceptors and facilitate in breaking up adhesions within the joint, reducing muscle spasm and pain, and improving overall joint function.