The middle back is also known as the thoracic spine. It lies between the cervical spine and the lumbar spine. It runs from the shoulder blades down to the back around the level of the belly button. Along with the rib cage, the middle back support and protect many of the vital organs of the human body. Because it is less mobile, the middle back pain doesn’t typically originate in the spine itself but actually comes down from strains in the muscles that support the thoracic spine. These muscles involve the paraspinal muscles, the intercostal muscles between the ribs, and the scapular stabilizers. So, strengthening and stretching of these muscles is crucial to avoid any middle back pain.
- Seated spinal twist– Sit tall on a chair with shoulders blades pulled down and together. Slowly twist to the left side. Place the right hand on the outside of the left knee. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Thoracic extension exercises-Lie down on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Raise your upper body onto your elbows while keeping both forearms and hips relaxed on the ground. Hold for 10 seconds and return back slowly. A more advanced step involves raising your upper body onto your hands rather than forearms.
- Passive backbend– Roll up a blanket or a towel. Lie on the roll so it rests against the bottom of your shoulder blades, close to the middle of your back. Relax in this posture for a minute.
- Wall angles-Stand with your back flat against the wall. Bend your knees slightly. Keep your head and lower back flat against the wall. Now raise your arms to your side to a 90-degree angle with your elbows bent and hands up. Your elbows and the back of your hands should be against the wall. Slide your hands and elbows up the wall until you feel some tension, hold for 10 seconds, and lower your arms back to 90 degrees. Repeat 10 times.
- Prone W– Lie down on your stomach. Bend your elbows to bring upper arms in W-position. Now lift your arms from this position, hold for 10 seconds, and bring your arms back. Repeat 10 times.
- Prone T– Lie down on your stomach with your arms outstretched to the side at 90 degrees angle and thumbs pointing up. Now lift your arms from this position, hold for 10 seconds, and bring your arms back. Repeat 10 times.
- Cat and camel exercises–Go on to your hands and knees, keeping your shoulders over your hands and your knees spaced hip-width apart. Tighten your abdominal muscles and arch your spine upward toward the ceiling. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, relax and then hollow your back, hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Behind the back arm lift– Clasp your hands behind your back. With your elbows straight, lift your hands off the back while breathing in deeply. Hold for 10seconds and repeat 10 times.
- Bird dog exercises-Go on to your hands and knees, keeping your shoulders over your hands and your knees spaced hip-width apart. Simultaneously straighten and raise your left leg and right arm, keeping your pelvis and shoulders in a neutral position. Hold for 5-10 seconds and go back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
- Corner stretch– Face the corner of a room. Position your feet together, about 2 feet away from the corner. Place a forearm on each wall with the elbows slightly below shoulder height. Lean forward until a good stretch is felt across the chest and shoulders. Hold the stretch 15 seconds and repeat 10 times.
STAY INFORMED AND KEEP YOUR BACK STRONG!
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