Back pain and stiffness – why do we get it and what stretches are best to cure it?
Here at Bespoke Wellbeing, London, we treat a wide variety of injuries and conditions so each week we have decided to share with you some of our prescribed exercises we give out to our patients to help them on their road to recovery.
Today we have been talking to our patients about the best ways to ease up stiffness and back pain in the middle of their backs, AKA the thoracic spine if your being technical!
Why do we get stiffness and pain in the thoracic spine?
City based workers are a large group of patients we see in Central London, so they are often spending extended periods of time at computers and desks. This can contribute to a gradual increase in tension in the thoracic area over time. The spine can become uncomfortable through the working day, but can also start to impact on sporting activities. Other patient groups we see with stiffness in this area are pregnant ladies, after a spinal injury (i.e. car accident) or patients who weight train their chest and arms without enough attention to the back area.
What exercises are the best for stretching the thoracic spine?
So here are some of our handpicked exercises which we have issued out this week to our patients for you to have a try:
1. Arm Openings – lie on your side with arms resting out at shoulder level (as shown) then slowly raise the top hand up to the ceiling and twist open the torso until your hand reach behind you to the bed / floor. Then slowly bring the hand back up and across the body back to start position. Repeat x15 reps on each side.
2. Towel Extension – lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on floor. Place a small rolled towel across your mid back and place your hands up at the side of your head (as shown). Lie for 3 minutes.
3. Cat Stretch – come into all-fours then flatten your back downwards (as shown) and then arch the back upwards by rounding it (as shown). Repeat this flattening and rounding movement continuously for 1 minute.
These stretches can be performed x3 a week, perhaps at the end of the work day or your work out, and will gradually loosen the thoracic spine to reduce stiffness and pain.
Why not give these a go and see how you get on. For any more information of managing back pain, or to book in with one of our team, please contact us [email protected]
Please note that none of these exercises should reproduce pain – if you experience any pain during the exercise please discontinue and speak to your GP or physiotherapist.