Daily habits and posture lead to poor thoracic spine mobility, which can affect the shoulder, neck, lower back and hip.

The thoracic region of the spine resides in the upper part of your back at around chest level. The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae and plays one of the most vital roles in maintaining your posture.

When muscles in your thoracic region become tight and painful, thoracic spine stretches may help ease your discomfort. Here are some thoracic stretches you can do to improve your mobility and reduce pain.

Releasing tight muscles around the thoracic spine will help reduce knots and stiffness. Use a massage ball or foam roller to focus your attention on the areas which are tight.

Once you have released your muscles, you can begin to stretch. Hold each stretch for 30-45 seconds, and repeat two to three times.

Side stretch: While standing, reach over and bend to one side. This stretch targets the latissimus dorsi muscle.

Intercostals: Lie on your side while leaning on your elbow. Stretch the side of your rib cage and take deep breaths into the area of the stretch.

Posterior Line Stretch: In a sitting position, pull your head down and bring your chin closer to your chest. Bend as far forward as possible while rounding your upper back. This stretch targets the area between the shoulder blades.

Rolling Spine: Get onto the floor on your hands and knees. Look down at the floor and slowly pull your abdominals in and up, arching your back. Release back to the starting point and repeat.

Infraspinatus Stretch: Stand comfortably and place your hands at your low-back area with your palms facing in. Let your elbows drop toward the floor and lean forward slightly. This stretch targets your upper back.

Pure Health Physical Medicine: 2116 W. Galena Blvd., Suite 112, Aurora, IL 60560: 630.897.1895 : www.getpurehealthnow.com

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