Healthy Writer: Thoracic Mobility

Hello Desk Jockeys or Cubicle Warriors, today we are going to be talking about gaining mobility in the mid-back region. As the video one below points out, pain in one area of the body does not necessarily mean that the origin of the pain is in the same place that it manifests. Simply said if your neck hurts it may be due to the loss of mobility in a different region. The body works as a system each part in conjunction with the ones around it. For example if your forearm tendon is tight and tender you will most like have pain in the elbow and wrist. Why? The systems on either side of a weak one have to work twice as hard to make simple movements.

In my endeavors to gain more mobility or flexibility in my back and shoulders I started using a foam roller. Now if you have never heard of a foam roller it may sound a bit quirky, but now I swear by mine. In video two you will see one of the workouts that I do for my thoracic mobility. You can purchase a roller at most local sports shops, department stores, or online at Amazon.

Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique often used by athletes and physical therapists to improve soft tissue flexibility. The technique can be effective for most muscle regions throughout the spine, chest and gluteus. Rolling the foam roller under or across each muscle group and pausing at tender or tight areas by maintaining pressure for 30 to 60 seconds can release the trigger points, and relax the tender areas. But I must warn you…use of a foam roller the first time can be painful. You will be working on trigger points that may have been tight for years. Those areas will feel more like rocks and you will think that the area may never relax. IT WILL. Trust the process and go slowly.

Here is the regimen that I have discovered works best for me. I have found that if I use the exercise from video one before I do video two and roll out my back I have less pain and the muscles relax twice as fast. I suggest doing the exercise from video one 10 times, then do the full rollout from video two twice. When you are done you back will be tender. Take things slowly and rest for bit before you get back to your daily chores. I would repeat this workout 3-4 times a week, but it can be done daily without harm.

One of the great things about foam rollers is that you can use them after strenuous workouts to stretch and relax overworked muscles from your neck down to your feet. This helps tremendously in reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). But if you don’t get a roller video one is an excellent start for your Thoracic Mobility. Here is a link to several videos on YouTube for uses of the foam roller.

Video One:

Video Two:

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