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The thoracic spine is the part of the spine between your lower back and your neck. It supports the rib cage and is the structure to which the ribs attach at the back. It is made up of vertebrae and discs just like the neck and lower back and its position in space and movement is important for our posture and protection or our internal organs. It is important to move this part of the spine forward and back and into rotation. Below describes a good way to encourage extension of the spine at the thoracic region and encourages lumbar spine extension also

Instructions

  • Sit on the ground and place 2 x pillows or a bolster lengthwise behind your tailbone
  • Sit directly in front of this and lower yourself back over the pillows/bolster
  • You can start with your knees bent up
  • Ensure that your head and neck are comfortable – you may need another pillow or towel under your head to encourage good posture for your neck
  • Reach your arms out to the side with your palms facing up
  • Breathe down to your stomach and relax your shoulders
  • After a few minutes you can then change your leg and arms positions to open up the body further – this is demonstrated in the video
  • You can alternate between leg and arm positions as you like in this position
  • Stay for 4-5 minutes and breathe

Precautions

  • Ensure you keep your head supported during this exercise – you may need to use a spare pillow to ensure that your neck is not being compromised
  • Take your time and breathe throughout the exercise
  • If you know you are stiff in your hips you may want to use other pillows to support the legs when in a cross-legged position
  • Stop if you feel pain or are unsure of the technique
  • If you are unsure, please speak to your physiotherapist