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 by readjusting your seated position to a neutral spine. Keep your shoulders back and always be attentive to any pain in your neck, back or hips so you can make adjustments to your position.
- Improve your workplace ergonomics!
- Try sitting on a yoga ball to engage your core.
- Make sure your feet are touching the floor so you legs are not hanging or crossed. Use a stepping stool if your feet don’t touch the floor.
- Use a pillow to support your lower back, preventing gaps between you and the chair.
- Look into a laptop stand for your desk that is more ergonomic for the workplace.
- Stretch and loosen up your muscles! Slouching and forward rounding of the shoulders enables everything on the front of the body to tighten up. Loosen up your shoulders and chest by stretching your arms across your chest and above your head (think of your morning stretch after you wake up).
- Stay mobile! Sitting for extended periods can cut off circulation to the legs and cause tension in the lower back. Make sure to stand up and walk around at least once every hour to mobilize your body and get your blood circulating.
- Strengthen your supporting muscles! An extra focus on strengthening the core and back helps keep the back stable and shoulders retracted. Follow this simple exercise routine every day for a week and see how it helps relieve tension in your mid-back.
- Take our Free Assessment! Checkout our FREE Kaizo Health App to view our private library of exercises made for your particular needs. Download the app here and take our free assessment to view your exercises!
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. Try these tips we’ve provided or schedule an appointment with us and get seen as early as TODAY to start living pain-free!
Start living a pain-free life, schedule an appointment and get seen as early as today!