12 Spinal Loosening Activities for Thoracic Mobility & Lumbar Stability
Spinal Loosening for your Thoracic & Lumbar Mobility should become an important aspect of your everyday Prehabilitation Programme.
Here are 12 Activities including Bracing, Flexion – Extension & Erector Spinae Mobility that needs to be added to your everyday life.
Hunched over your desk as you type away all day, or curled up on the couch as you binge-watch something on TV.
A few months of that and the back pain creeps up on you!
Pain is not always a bad thing! Pain is the body’s way to receive messages that there is a threat or something is wrong.
But having any kind of a back pain is no fun, especially when you wake up in the morning knowing that you have a full day at work ahead of you.
Whether your lower back feels tight often or occasionally, it’s important to listen to your body and take steps to loosen tension. Tightness in your lower back may be accompanied by pain, spasms, and cramping. The pain often feels like a constant, dull ache, and your back may feel stiff, tense, and contracted. You may also feel tightness in your pelvis, hips, and legs.
Understand Your Spine
The spine is wonderfully designed to allow movement. It is also designed to help absorb and distribute forces from everyday activities.
The spine is made up of 33 small bones called vertebrae. Together, they form what is known as the vertebral column.
- There are 7 vertebrae in the cervical region which is your neck;
- 12 vertebrae in the thoracic region which is your upper back;
- 5 vertebrae in the lumbar spine;
- and 5 sacral vertebrae and 4 coccyx which are located below that.
There are 3 major types of Spinal Loosening Activities
Abdominal bracing happens when you contract the muscles around your spine to create a rigid midsection,
For runners, using the abdominal bracing method to activate abdominal muscles can help support your lower back if you’re experiencing an excessive rocking motion in your pelvis while running.
Here the focus is on lengthening and extending the spine. This helps to relieve compression in the lower back.
Spinal extension is the opposite of spinal flexion, which is curling forward. In extension, the spine is bending backwards, recruiting the muscles that are responsible for standing, lifting objects, and overall spinal movement like twisting.
However, pushing your shoulders back to engage the trapezius muscles doesn’t come as easily as rounding them. Back extension is a movement that’s more limited and comes a lot less naturally. If you’re not combatting all of that arching and sitting hunched on your desk for hours with back extension exercises, you’re most likely going to wind up with an imbalanced body.
Erector Spinae/ Multifidus
The erector spinae muscles comprise of the deep (intrinsic) muscles of the back. They extend on either side of the vertebral column.
The function of the spinal erectors is to move the vertebral column. Bilateral contraction of these muscles extends the spine, while unilateral contraction causes lateral flexion. They also help to maintain posture by steadying the spine on the pelvis during walking.