Lie on your stomach on a firm surface. I am 30 with an S curve scoliosis. He had attended a lecture by a chiropractor who claimed a particular spine adjustment could cure a woman’s menstrual cramps, and that other manipulations cured various other issues. A lot of great information. Slowly move around the target area and pause at any areas that illicit more tenderness. exercises that were performed. I don’t think my reply worked the 1st time. Make sure that you are able to breathe throughout these release exercises. So I’m glad I found this. Hi Mark, I am having a number of problems but the one that never really has gotten better, is I have a bulging disk in my mid back. But I will definitely try. I often get up early morning to do stretches, a foam roller, etc. This site caught my attention, and I am looking forward to trying the releases, stretches, and exercises that I am able to do. Hey Mark, I really appreciate what you are doing here! For this exercise you lay down over a foam roller, lean back to find some extension in the T-spine, then move to another segment and repeat. My spine was straight 6 weeks ago before the accident. Thank you. My personal belief is that it is caused by nerve irritation that most likely originates in or around T10. The visuals are very helpful but I was wondering if you had any videos doing these types of stretches? Position your body over a massage ball so that your chest muscles are targeted. Lie down on the ground and position the foam roll so that it is in the middle of your upper back. Any suggestions? I wore him on my body with a ring sling until my back hurt too much to carry him around 9 months. Have you checked out my post on Shoulder blade pain? He couldn’t even get my back to take an adjustment. He described the misalignment that would cause my specific problem, so I found a local chiro (I was in Florida at the time). Thanks for putting together these exercises. Thoracic Multifidus. How does the rest of your posture look like? Most people have the misconception that small is insignificant. Thanks! It’s a big help for everyone. Hey Mark, thanks for posting these. It feels as if something is being pulled. (This is just the release of pressure in your joints.). Hi Mark, A couple months ago I was suffering from terrible thoracic pain, it felt like constant pressure being applied to my thoracic spine ( I am pretty sure that was due to the uncomfortable chair at the office). Did you ever find out what the issue was and how to resolve/ease it? It is also attached to the spinal column. How often would you recommend doing these exercises? Aim to feel the stretch on the side of your body. Currently, I am dealing with chronic pancreatitis. I also have a shoulder full of arthritis and damage from physical abuse (bone fragments floating around and torn rotator cuff and torn muscle that have’t seemed to heal- why not!?). Hello Mark, I’m having thoracic back pain I suspect due to ACDF surgery last November. Lie on your stomach on a firm surface. Thanks for your time Mark, I know you are very likely to be busy so don’t take your time for granted in replying in your free time, much appreciated. Can you tell me exactly where you have your pain? I want to destroy the cause, not just treat the symptoms. Whilst standing, reach over and bend to the side. It may help with your neck/head issues if this is the problem. You need to login to view this content. Aim to get the elbow pointing towards the roof. Read our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Medical Disclaimer, I have separated the thoracic spine exercises into, Proper Posture For Driving (plus exercises), These took place in the 1920 by an MD at the University of Pennsylvania. Blessings. Is there any exercises on here I can do so I can back bend again? I have been trying the stretches as you mentioned although I had also been taking ibuprofen to manage the pain and it seems to have gone now! It is better to do one area very well then move on to the next when you are ready. Hi Mark, I took a huge hit to the back of my right shoulder and it bent my shoulder forward and my thoracic spine to the right and it’s twisted. Low back pain can be defined as pain or discomfort in the lumbar region. I googled what facet joints are and yes that’s it. If so, it is common to feel squashed/pinched/compression on the contracted side when you do a side bend. How can I make sure I don’t continue to make the neck pain worse? Do you have alternative stretches for Serratus anterior cuz that one tends to bother me? The content presented on this blog post is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. My final postural problem, and I can’t really find anything on the internet, is I’m starting to notice myself standing with all of my weight on the balls of my feet and toes, to the point where my knees are further out than my shins, which obviously throws everything out of whack. I don’t want to make that worse either. When sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time it seems like my right shoulder gets over tired and starts to drop and i feel pain in shoulder blade, traps, etc. But I do everything in my power to avoid this position while I sleep. I have cervical dystonia but my whole thoratic area feels twisted. The weakening of this muscle – from immobility, a sedentary lifestyle or pre-conditions may cause important muscle tissue to be replaced with fat. Check out this post : Anterior pelvic shift and Sway back posture. Releasing tight muscles around the thoracic spine will help reduce knots/trigger points/stiffness. when I do them, I seem to be fine for a couple of hours or so. Kindly clear. Please recommend me some exercises from the above which will be useful for regaining of my posture back. But the pain I was initially talking about is in the exact area of the picture at the top of the page. Tighten your back muscles, look up toward the ceiling and lift your arms and legs off the floor. I injured my back over a month ago my upper lower back the part that bends in a back bend. Thank you for your reply. It feels like I’m pinching the contracted side long before I feel any stretch in the elongated side. Lift your hips off the ground, supporting your lower body with your toes. In side bends like number 16 I find that I frequently struggle to get a real stretch out of it because there doesn’t seem to be much space between the top of my hip bones and the bottom of my ribcage. I suffer from spondylosis, retrolisthesis, and chronic pain syndrome (and other more serious conditions unrelated to pain). Along with this issue I have tightness in my neck, which is on the opposite side of where my bulging disk is (not sure that makes a difference). You can do all of them if you have the time. Test Position: Quadruped. If you are seeing a physio, I would suggest that they work on a lot of your anterior neck muscles (SCM, scalenes), pec major/minor, anterior deltoid, biceps, anterior upper traps to start off with. Few years ago, I was diagnosed with pleural fibrosis on my right chest wall resulting in crowding of ribs, curving my spine towards my right and drooping down the shoulder. I love this page.. is there by any chance you can email me regarding the thoracic spine? Take deep breaths into the area of stretch. Tweets by @physitweet. In fact – I would say that it is impossible to attain the ideal posture if the thoracic spine is not addressed. Whilst standing, hold onto weights in your hands. Most of them look “doable”, even if I may need help getting off the floor. Are there exercises to train my muscles on the concave side( on my top left and lower right) to be stronger and to relax my convex side (on my top right and lower left)? It would mean the world to me if you could please take a look and advise. Inflammation (and tenderness) to the area will usually follow shortly after but should subside with time. i really need it and you have great tips here but not for this specific posture…thanks alot. My symptoms present as a ‘trapped/fixed’ sort of feeling in the thoracic spine when I roll my shoulders back; a tight catching in the ribs on my front left side when I breathe deeply; muscle stiffness around the upper back and neck; and crepitus – lots of popping/snapping/cracking, especially in the elbows, shoulders and spine. Pain still there, but I feel stretched out and generally much looser. As we unpack the do’s and don’ts of exercise after a spinal fusion I want to make this clear. Check out Forward head posture post. The multifidus muscle supports and provides strength for the spine and core. Just make sure you go gentle to begin with and pay attention to how your body responds. Kind regards Julie. My main complaints are stiffness in the trapezius muscles, also impacting the scapula and muscles in the neck. Long story short I finally realized when I put my thoracic spine in a neutral position, my ears, shoulders and hips naturally line up, my neck straightens up shoulders roll back and down, and everything is fine and it feels great, obviously I can only maintain that posture for so long before I wear out and when I relax out of it I feel tension in my lower back, is this normal or am I doing something wrong possibly? Will now do them religiously; not just when my back howls in pain! This is a good place to start to get your symptoms down. They say I have mild scoliosis, however 2 months ago that was not the case. Check out this post for more info on that. In medical terms, this is known as the deconditioning of the multifidus muscle. Also can I just follow you up on the ice question, do you think this has any impact in healing chronic problems? I’m just curious as to what it might be called or what I can do for relief. Great article. Daily? Aim to feel a stretch at the back between the shoulder blades. Please let me know your thoughts. The reproduction, distribution, display, or transmission of the content is strictly prohibited, unless authorized by PostureDirect. Being overweight is also a suggested risk … Once you have found a painful spot, move your arm around to increase the amount of release in the area. However, it is not the case when it comes to this particular muscle. Recently – I sit and write, full time, day in day out – I’ve had quite pronounced pain beneath my right shoulder blade, and I know it must be the hunching and poor posture, exacerbated by my general tendency… and it’s been great to find your exercises, coupled with your really good knowledge. It sounds like you may be leaning to one side. It feels like it’s in the spine itself and it is quite annoying as it still aches when lying down as well. If you are short on time, focus on just one area. But – for which exercise is best for you? Clinicians often propose special exercises and stretches to aid with low back pain (LBP). For some reason, being laid out on a bed brings all the pain. If you have a flat upper back, check out this post: How to fix flat back posture. It’s directly in the middle of the spine. Thanks Mark and much empathy and positive vibes to everyone else who is in this club. Any tips for this? The exercises mentioned here will help with reclaiming movement in the thoracic spine. :-) If it helps even a little, it will be such a relief. I suspect at least some of my pain is because of poor posture and deconditioning from three years of some serious health issues. Many thanks, Mark, If the pain is coming from your joints, it is likely the facet joints or perhaps even the joints where the ribs meet the spine. Hi Mark, I’m a nail technician an have been experiencing thoracic back pain and deep feverishness at times, how do I correct my back.thanks Tilda. The multifidusis a thin muscle that plays a crucial role in the stability of the spine. When I use a foam roller on my back, the discomfort is on my right side, adjacent to T10. If you wanted to stay safe, I would avoid exercise #10 as this may place direct pressure on the bone. In sitting, for a thoracic ring (inter-thoracic ring control) – midback training, imagine there is a fish hook attached to the spinous process of the thoracic vertebra at the level to be trained. Focus on the flexion part of the movement. t ConCLusions: The exercises investigated in 2) You would need to have a look at the position of your head/neck and also the shoulder. When it arrived I immediately tried it out. I have been doing the cat/cow now a couple of months. It’s definitely not muscular. Initially I could feel it after long working hours, recently it comes after periods of seating or even moving my arm. This muscle extends lengthwise down much of the spine and has 4 parts: Cervical (neck), thoracic (corresponding approximately with the upper and mid back area), lumbar (your low back) and sacral (corresponding to the sacrum, which is below your low back.) Hi Mark! finally, I found a Chiro that specializes in posture and he said I have a very flat back and severely tight muscles in my upper thoracic. I have recently been getting deep tissue massages. Your symptoms sounds so similar and I’ve been suffering for 5 years. The chiro I most recent saw suggested that I am developing hypermobility, so need to try my best not to habitually/forcefully pop my spinal and neck joints. I had a fracture injuries and I was not able to do many things, so I spent most of my time home. Any suggestions on how I could change my form to adjust for this? Prior to this I had been an exceptionally fit cyclist. The multifidus muscle is one of the smallest yet most “powerful” muscle that gives support to the spine. I would send you a photo of my posture if I could, but from what a couple of specialists have said, I have a decent posture with a fairly strong core, although my spine is quite flat in the thoracic region and I do show signs of very early scoliosis. Slowly breathe in and out and tighten your multifidus muscles as if you are pulling your thigh in toward your chest -- your body should not actually move during this exercise; however you will feel the muscles under your fingers tighten. Pec minor stretches and face pulls might work, but I would need to do a full assessment to see exactly what is happening. Endurance of the multifidus muscle and adequate proprioception of lumbopelvic and thoracic position may be important factors to consider in weight-bearing exercise. The SCS is doing wonders for my severe arthritis in my lumbar and the radiculopathy in my legs. (hopefully it’s not your lung, though). Hi Mark! If a client has a hyper-kyphotic posture due to tight chest and latissimus dorsi muscles and weak upper back muscles, what resistance training/core stability and flexibility exercises would you recommend? What do you suggests. When I DO wake up with lots of pain, the pain is 80% gone within an hour of being up and moving around. Strengthen your multifidus muscles to improve posture and provide a solid foundation for movement of your arms and legs. I am also able to do push-ups on my knees with no pain. Hi Mark, After a lumbar fusion surgery in 2010, I had a neuro stim device placed to help with chronic pain. Do you have a flat thoracic spine? Back to the multifidus. Once you fatigue, it is likely other muscles (such as the lower back erector muscles) will start to kick in more so. Persons with low back pain (LBP) have demonstrated altered morphology and function of the deep multifidus (DM). my question is, will it be okay if i do all the excersizes for all the bad postures every day or do i have to start with a certain part like the forward head before i start with the hunchback exercises? 90% of my pain now occurs at night while I’m sleeping. The rest of my spine (lower) is quite curved though (APT). If you want to sleep on your back, make sure that the pillow is not too thin as this will tend to make your head kink backwards and chin just upwards. You may need to get a re-scan to make sure you are healing properly before you start doing anything strenuous with your back. As I haven’t seen you personally and given your medical history, My best advice would be to get your PT to specifically check your exercises. Make sure that you can feel the painful area stretching. If the thoracic spine is not behaving optimally/not moving ideally/not positioned efficiently, it is said that it can sometimes affect the sympathetic nervous system. If you want more information on how sympathetic nerve irritation can cause at times very rapid organ disease progression, research the Winsor Autopsies. My back has been cracking a lot lately at work. If you want to ask more questions, feel free to contact me through private message on facebook. They have a lot of innervation so give the feedback that keeps track of spinal position and motion. 25 The lumbar lordosis-thoracic kyphosis posture preferentially recruits the MF muscle. You can put your free hand on your leg for stability. I’ve had my brace on for about 3 weeks now and although my spine doesn’t hurt for the most part, I’m scared to start stretching/exercising. Please advise. People with weak muscle strength and endurance are at greater risk for low back pain. I am afraid some of these exercises are going to continue to hurt my neck and I do NOT want to get back into that. I do have another question though. The multifidus attaches at every vertebra, meaning that it is involved with the stability and health of the spine at every vertebral joint. I am not sure I am doing them right as she didn’t pay much attention. After much research, I gathered that with the right exercises, I can train my spine to support my back better and have better posture and possibly reducing the curvature. I just started doing most of the exercises you have posted here for the therasic spine yesterday. Make sure that you do not twist your body. The flatter the spine, the more like the facet joints will jam up in certain positions. I get really bad pain when I stand too long. Lie on your left side, reach behind your back with your right hand and put your fingers on the bones of your spine in your low back. Think about gently allowing the ribs to float apart like a Japanese fan, or accordion, and then think about suspending (lifting) the thoracic vertebra 1 mm above the one below. Perform sidelying knee lifts to strengthen your multifidus muscles. How can I help myself in my condition? It also feels like around the T5 area, it is pushing left which triggers my issues. Please let me know your thoughts. 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