Level 1 Thoracic Exercises

I use these releases for a very angry mid back/shoulder blade area as they are less intense and if done correctly do provide relief.

Peanut Release:

Stand against a wall with the Peanut placed on the shoulder blade area and the ball parts either side of the spine. You can place the Peanut starting at the base of the shoulder blades to the top of the shoulder blades. Do not place the peanut on the neck or the lower back. You can control the intensity of the pressure by stepping closer or further away from the wall, remember it has to be within the range of 3/10 (dim light). Roll up and down until you locate an area that is more tender. Hold this area until it begins to release, remember to breath!. At this point depending on how you feel, you can floss the muscle by performing arm lifts (flexion and abduction) for 5-10 repetitions after the initial release. Or you can roll up and down again to locate a different spot to release.

(If peanut is too intense can use 1Kg soft ball to generally roll or foam roller)

Tsp Stretch:

Lie on your side with your knees bent at 90 degrees.

You can place a towel under your head for support.

Place the bottom hand on the knees and press lightly to make sure they stay on the ground.

With the top hand, reach for your ribs and pull gently as you rotate the torso.

Hold the position for 15-20secs and repeat 10 times each side

Thoracic extension/rotation:

Lie on your side with your bottom leg straight and your top leg bent and on a support to keep your pelvis levelled.

Place your hands together in front of your chest.Keep your bottom arm on the floor, while your other arm reaches overhead and stays along the floor in a circular motion until it reaches the back.

Return slowly to the starting position following the same pattern on the way back.

(Can do chair twists if unable to tolerate supine or side lying)

Sit down on a chair with your spine straight.

Rotate your body toward one side and hold the position.

Not shown, using both hand, grab onto the arm of the chair

Hold stretch for 3 seconds before rotating to the other side.

Pectoral Stretch:

I use the pec stretch here because I find a lot of peoples’ mid back pain comes from very tight pecs and poor posture. We all have bad habits at sitting incorrectly at our desks, computers and looking at our phones. This leads to our shoulders sitting forwards (protraction) and our thoracic to round.

Stand up straight in front of an open doorway.

Place your hands onto either side of the doorway at shoulder level.

Lean your body weight forward until you feel a stretch along your chest and in front of your shoulders.

Maintain the position for 20secs and then release. Repeat 2-3 times. You can play around with the angle and height of the arm to find the best stretch for you.

Can be done one arm at a time too.

Upper Trap Stretch:

This stretch is fantastic for firstly stretching the traps but also releasing tension headaches.

Sit in a chair and grasp the seat with your affected hand to lower your shoulder.

Tilt your head to the opposite side while tucking in your chin and flexing the neck as to look at your toes. You may also place your other hand on your head and pull it down until a stretch is felt on top of the shoulder.

Hold the stretch for 20 secs and then relax. Repeat 3 times.