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Stuck Thoracic Spine

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:00pm

“I have a few clients of various ages who are either “stuck in their ribs” or “stuck in their thoracic”.  By this, I mean that during articulation exercises (roll up, spine stretch, cat, etc.) their thoracic spine moves as if it’s fused together and their rib cage comes up as a full unit.  I know that I am a little “flat” in my thoracic, but I am able to round/articulate through it.  So, my question is “What do you recommend to help them gain mobility here”? Student

sidebend leftLesley Powell: Observe how they lateral bend in their spines.  Most probably there is not a lot of movement in the upper thoracic.  They achieve side bending mostly at the lumbar or leaning (losing their grounding of their pelvis.)

Put your finger at the upper thoracic spine.  Have them only side bend at that place.  It will be a small movement.

I would work on opening the upper spine in many planes such as side bending and rotation.  Isolate the movement in the upper thoracic.  Use this as a warm-up before flexion exercises.

I once took a great workshop with Dianne Woodruff. (She will be at Movements Afoot in the spring). She had us all perform a crunch and observe the range.  Then she had us sit and do a stretch (like mermaid) that lateral flexed, rotated and then rolled up.  We performed the crunch again and we all had more range of motion.

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