The thoracic spine is the longest and the most complex region in the spinal column. It is located in the middle section of the vertebra between the neck and lower back and the only spinal area attached to the rib cage. 

Thoracic mobility is vital for achieving or maintaining good posture. Having good movement in the thoracic spine is essential to remain pain-free for sports and daily activities. However, having poor mobility in this area can increase thoracic conditions like kyphosis (round back), leading to complications in the back, neck, and shoulders.

Posture, or the ability to maintain a comparatively natural thoracic curve, can be quickly harmed by long hours spent at desk jobs, on the screen, studying, and certain sports such as cycling, resulting in detrimental changes in thoracic posture. Due to stiffness and tension, these negative changes can result in an inability to stretch, or straighten up, the thoracic spine.

How Can Sports Physical Therapy Helps Thoracic Stiffness?

Lower and upper limb movements can be limited as a result of reduced thoracic mobility and poor posture. Most sports, such as swimming, golf, kayaking, and tennis, place a high value on the ability to use thoracic stability in conjunction with better upper and lower limb movement to generate more strength and, as a result, improve efficiency. 

A sports physical therapist is well-versed in assessing both vertebral motions and posture. Movements in the thoracic spine, including extensions, rotation, side-folding, and rib expansion, should be thoroughly evaluated. Other factors to include are shoulder motions, such as the streamline in swimmers, neck actions, and lumbar spine movements. Sitting and standing should be evaluated as well. If particular sports positions need to be measured, such as time trial or boat position, they should be evaluated, too.

There are numerous self-mobilization techniques that you can do even at home. However, it is always best, safe, and accurate to be thoroughly assessed by a certified therapist to ensure correct technique and prevent causing further problems in the future. When searching for the certified Best Sports Massage Near Me, look no further than Massage Rx!

When sitting at the desk and you lean forward, there is muscle tension in the packs, and the back muscles become dominant. For the best and perfect thoracic mobility exercise to correct head-forward posture, see our video here:


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Treatments for Pain in the Thoracic Spine

  • Joint mobilization
  • Manipulation
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Postural exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Stretching exercises

Self-stretching is critical and should be included in a routine stretching regimen for all athletes but particularly for those at risk of injuries, such as desk employees, runners, swimmers, kayakers, and other athletes who need better thoracic mobility and good posture.

Massage Rx has been in the massage therapy industry for years now, providing comprehensive and the best quality solutions for all body pains. We offer a Postural Correction Training Booklet that will help assess and determine the cause of lack of posture, balance, and total body coordination. See our video here to learn more about the booklet:

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