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Thoracic Mobility! What is it & Why Is It Important?

Updated: Oct 4, 2022


All too often people walk into the doors of my gym and frequently talk about the neck/shoulder pain they have. Whats the cause of this? From what I've seen in my clients and evaluations performed on them, a large portion of this pain is a symptom of minimal thoracic mobility. What is thoracic mobility ? Thoracic mobility is the ability to create movement in your thoracic region (upper back). By movement I mean extension, flexion, depression, elevation, retraction, protraction, upward rotation and downward rotation.

The thoracic region is the space on the spine between the cervical vertebrae region and the lumber vertebrae region

Now the issue here is everything we do in

this world doesn't necessarily set us up for success in developing mobility in this area of our back. Looking down at our phones and computers all day creates a habit of those muscles being in a relaxed state. These are the same muscles we need to pull our shoulders back into proper positioning and the same muscles we need active to get proper movement in our upper back. When our upper back is relaxed, our shoulders slump forward and the muscle tissues in the front of our shoulder become shorter over time to "adapt" to the positioning that we put it through daily. Our bodies are very smart and will adapt to what we constantly put it through! With the muscles in the upper back being lazy and the tissues in the front being shorter, what do we get? We get what is shown in the picture below.