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Foam roller exercises for back pain
Upper back stiffness and pain is a common condition that can be easily treated and managed. Symptoms can include pain, tightness and stiffness around the upper back, neck and shoulders. Our physiotherapist Jason Lee identifies three exercises using your foam roller to assist with not only providing relief from symptoms but preventing back pain.
What is the thoracic spine?
The thoracic spine (of middle back) is a collection of 12 vertebrae. T1 – T12 connect the lumbar (lower back) spine to the cervical region (neck). Your thoracic spine provides the body with core stability and protects a number of the vital organs of the chest including the heart and lungs. Additionally, your ribs also connect to the thoracic spine via the costovertebral joints.
Why do I get thoracic spine pain?
There are many reasons why people develop upper back pain and stiffness. Muscle tension associated with sustained and poor posture is one of the most common causes. Given that this is one of the primary causes of back stiffness, ensuring an ergonomic desk set up both at home and in the office is a great starting point.
In the older population, arthritis can affect the joints or conditions such as osteoporosis can cause compression fractures of the vertebrae.
Given the location of the ribs, irritation or sprains of the costovertebral joints can cause localised pain when breathing or discomfort with any task that involves increasing the intra-abdominal pressure.
What can I do for my upper back stiffness?
The foam roller is a great piece of equipment to assist with muscle tension and stiffness in the upper back. These exercises are great for assisting with improving mobility with extension (leaning back) and twisting (rotation).
These exercises should not cause discomfort or pain.
How can physiotherapy assist my upper back pain?
Physiotherapists are well placed to thoroughly assess your upper back pain. An assessment will examine your flexibility and strength. Effective treatment techniques for upper back pain include massage, mobilisations or manipulations to provide pain relief and restore flexibility. Your physiotherapist will also provide a strengthening program in order to prevent the issue reoccurring. Clinical pilates has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for those that may experience on going thoracic pain or stiffness.
If you are experiencing upper back pain, contact our friendly team. Call us or book online today.