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  • Writer's pictureJesse Polanco

Thoracic Spine Mobility for Lower Back Pain

Introduction

If you lay all day in your bed or love to put your body through strenous activities, the chances are, you are to become a victim of lower back pain in either cases!

Our backbone is the main pillar of our body. The spine or spinal cord packed into the backbone extends from the base of the skull to the tailbone. It ensures safe movements of our limbs and head.



The spine is divided into three parts.

  1. Cervical spine

  2. Thoracic spine

  3. Lumbar spine





The cervical spine is in the neck area, the thoracic in the middle back area and the lumbar is in the lower back area. These are interconnected with each other with the help of ligaments. That's why any ailment that hits one area will definitely affect the other area.

Spine Mobility and Low back pain

The spine is a very flexible structure. Spinal mobility depends on the flexibility of the whole spine. Limited range of motion in any part of the spine severely affects the overall body movements resulting in various problems.


One such example is lower back pain. Low back pain has numerous causes. Out of which limited mobility in the lumbar or thoracic spine is the one.


Maybe you are thinking about how thoracic immobility causes lower back pain, as the lower back is directly related to the lumbar spine? Here’s the clarity.


As was previously mentioned, the entire spine functions as a single entity with its various components being connected by ligaments. Any area of the unit that becomes immobile will undoubtedly have an impact on the rest of it. For example, the cervical and lumbar spines must overcome the restriction brought on by thoracic immobility when it happens. This additional effort results in lumbar pain, commonly known as low back pain (LBP).


Thoracic Movement-Mediated Training for LBP:

Lumbar spine mobility has traditionally been a part of the standard treatment for lower back pain for a long time. However, this approach has persistently failed many LBP patients.


Offering a novel solution to this problem, thoracic movement-mediated training (TMMT) is the future for LBP sufferers. This training takes a more patient-centered approach and yields better results with carefully designed muscle-stretching and strengthening exercises.



A study on a 55-year-old male LBP patient found that after getting TMMT, the subject's spinal mobility and lower back pain improved dramatically. (1) Such studies suggest that thoracic spine movements can be a promising replacement for lumbar spine movements in patients with excessive lower back pain.


Conclusion

A compromised mobility of the thoracic spine means an overall strain in the whole spinal cord. Thus, a muscular tension arises which often expresses itself in the form of lower back pain.


Tackling LBP is challenging if not addressed with the right techniques.


It has been found that under the supervision of a physiotherapist, thoracic muscle-strengthening and stretching exercises have a profound effect on the range of motion as well as the lower back pain of the patient. So, if you are also experiencing LBP with manifesting thoracic immobility, consult an experienced physiotherapist for effective treatment.


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