Exercises for a stiff middle back
Upper back stiffness is a common condition that regularly presents to physiotherapy. With so many of us sitting for long periods of time at work or school, upper back (thoracic) spine stiffness and pain is a common complaint. Not only does a stiff thoracic back produce pain around the mid back but has been shown to impact shoulder mobility and increase the likelihood of neck pain and headaches.
However, it can be very effectively treated by a physiotherapist. Treatment commonly would include techniques to reduce pain and stiffness. This can include hands-on treatment including massage, joint mobilisations/manipulation or dry needling. Whilst these techniques are great at reducing stiffness and pain in the short term, mobility and stretching exercises are a great way to not only prevent mid back pain but also reduce symptoms at home.
Our physiotherapist Jason Lee goes through two great exercises to improve thoracic rotation (twisting) and thoracic extension. Flexibility and mobility is commonly reduced in both these directions for those with mid back pain.
These exercises are great at improving extension.
Standing with your back against a wall.
Try and keep your bottom, lower back, mid back and back of your head against the wall. If required, feel free to step forward and bend your knees whilst in contact with the wall.
Keep the back of your hands and fore arms against the wall.
Keeping your arms in contact with the wall, slide your hands up as far as comfortable whilst maintaining contact with the wall.
This exercise should not be painful.
Try and repeat this exercise 10 – 12 times in a row. 4 – 5 x day.
Thread the needle:
Starting on your hands and knees
Reach one hand up towards the roof. Turn your head to look up towards the roof.
Reach your hand back through the gap between your other shoulder and rest.
Repeat this exercise 10 – 12 times in a row. 4 – 5 x day.
Try these exercises as part of your regular routine. They can also be used to break up the work or school day. A good tip is to set a regular alarm every 2 – 3 hours to remind yourself.
If you continue to experience mid back pain or stiffness, contact our team today.
Book online or call us today.