|Thoracic motion (David R. Beatty, |
drawing by William A. Kuchera, DO, FAAO)
There's a reason why stress often produces upper back pain. The nerves of the sympathetic nervous system, which respond to physical, emotional, or internal stress, originate in the thoracic spine and can trigger muscle spasm in response to any of those stressors.
DOCTOR'S NOTE: Seek evaluation by a health professional for upper back pain associated with respiratory, heart, or gastrointestinal symptoms that can refer pain to the thoracic area.
THORACIC POSITION OF EASE
|Position of ease for right upper back pain (WVSOM)|
- Lie face down with a pillow or two under your shoulder on the side of back pain and the arm resting comfortably;
- Turn your head to the side of back pain and allow it to rest on the pillow;
- If back pain is not reduced, add another pillow under your shoulder;
- When back pain is reduced, take a few deep breaths and rest in that position for 2-5 minutes;
- Proceed to the THORACIC FLEXION/EXTENSION STRETCH or slowly roll to the side before getting up;
- Use this position of ease 2-4 times a day or as needed for pain relief.
THORACIC FLEXION/EXTENSION STRETCH
- Kneel with your arms straight and hands shoulder width apart;
- Arch your back slowly upward while tucking the head and tailbone downward;
- Take a few deep breaths and stretch for 5-10 seconds;
|Extension stretch (WVSOM)|
|Middle thoracic mobilization |