It’s no secret that thousands of Americans experience debilitating back pain every year. Think of how many people you know that suffer daily from chronic back pain. Keep in mind there are many different causes and types of back pain, and every case is different. Here we’re going to focus specifically on relieving stiffness in the thoracic spine to help you relieve mid-back pain and tension.
Where is the thoracic spine?
The spine has five sections. Starting up at the base of the skull, there are seven vertebrae that make up the cervical spine. From the base of our neck down to the bottom of our ribs we have twelve thoracic vertebrae. Our five lumbar vertebrae sit right above the pelvic bone; these are the largest vertebrae because they carry the weight of the torso. The last two sections of the spine are the sacrum and coccyx. The vertebrae that make up both these sections are fused together. The sacrum assists in joining the two sides of the pelvic girdle.
Why does my back hurt?
One main reason for back pain is poor posture. Technology and our overall sedentary culture have contributed to a country-wide epidemic of slouching and text neck. The more slouched we are every day, the more strain we put on our back muscles, causing tension not only in the muscles, but in vertebral joints too (since the vertebrae are all stacked on top of each other, there’s a joint in between each one). All of this contributes to pain and tightness in the thoracic spine.
What can YOU do?
- Keep posture in mind, always! Whenever you feel yourself start to slouch, fix it!
- Stretch and do mobility exercises – particularly to loosen up your shoulders and chest. As we slouch and round our shoulders forward, we’re enabling everything on the front of our body to tighten up.
- Strengthen your back – If you lift regularly, try putting an extra focus on back exercises to help you keep your back stable and your shoulders retracted. If you don’t lift currently, consider doing some simple strengthening exercises – rows are great for this since they typically focus on shoulder retraction and are super variable!
- Follow this 5 exercise routine every day for a week and see how it helps relieve tension in your mid-back.
Don’t let back pain drag you down! Chiropractic care is always an option to align the spine and get your body moving the way it’s supposed to be. At the very least, try out the things we talked about here to relieve mid-back pain and tension!