Yoga Therapy Series! Post #1 Thoracic Mobility
There is so much carry over between what we try to achieve in physiotherapy and what is achieved with a regular yoga practice! In this blog series I will touch on some typical problem areas we see in physio and show you how a simple beginner’s yoga practice can address each to help you stay strong, fit, and pain free.
There probably isn’t a better way to get bang for your buck than with doing some thoracic mobility work. ✊ Your thoracic spine is comprised of 12 vertebrae that make up the middle of your back– think the part of your spine where your ribs attach. It’s meant to be flexible and strong in flexion, extension, rotation, and side bending. Stiffness here can cause local pain (the so-called “you’ve got a rib out!” situation), stress our necks, shoulders, low backs, and even beyond as the imbalances ripple down the kinetic chain to the extremities. 🙀
Unfortunately, we spend most of our time hunched forward in front of the computer, hovering over our phones (guilty! 🤫), or behind the steering wheel. Basically, all flexion, all day! Eventually, if we don’t take time to balance things out with other positions and movements, the thoracic spine and surrounding musculature becomes stiff and under-active, particularly into extension and rotation. These are both motions are very important to optimal movement and function! 💪
Sit all day? Practice some mindfulness! 🙆 Be aware of your habits and take time to balance things out with this simple yoga sequence for thoracic mobility:
- Seated side bend
- Seated twist
- Cat cow
- Thread the needle (modified slightly)
- Downward dog
- Baby cobra
- Child’s pose
Remember to keep your movement slow, within a pain free range of motion, and BREATHE! 😊
Peace out! ✌️
Mark – Ascent Physiotherapist
Disclaimer: These exercises are great to do as prevention. If you are new to exercise, or dealing with pain or injury, consult with a health professional before trying!