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The Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Connection

Mobility in the center of your spine makes a huge difference.

Locked or partially locked joints in the thoracic spine and rib cage do not allow permanent spinal correction of cervical or lumbar displacements, although some temporary changes in spinal position and symptoms may be observed. When freely mobile, the thoracic spine and rib cage react and change positions, as needed, for spinal corrections above and below.

Stretching and adjusting of the thoracic spine are performed to increase joint mobility, especially of shortened ligaments associated with the acute angles as measured on the A–P film and loss of lordosis in the cervical and lumbar spines. Joint mobility is especially important in the upper and lower thoracic areas, where the thoracic spine integrates with the more mobile cervical and lumbar spines.

The patient can perform this stretching and mobilization procedure in preparation for all adjusting and correcting procedures, as well as for all home rehabilitation exercise sessions using the following steps:

1. Lie face up on floor with knees up (if floor is not feasible, use the wall as seen below).
2. Place the Thoracic Roll under the back.
3. Push with the feet and roll the back over the foam, stretching the thoracic cage until feeling the motion being restored.
4. Add lateral flexion and/or rotation of the upper body while forcing the spine to glide over the roller until the spine has supple motion.

When the patient has extensive degeneration, and/or the inflammatory process are present, or the patient is suffering from Chronic Pain and cannot get down on the floor, the thoracic roller can be used against the wall instead of on the floor. This allows the patient to alter the amount of weight applied to his/her tolerance. After a week or two, the patient will be able to better tolerate using the roller on the ground, resulting in increased comfort and greater compliance.

Perform up to 10 repetitions, until the spine is supple, or as needed to stretch and release stiffness.

To download a PDF version of this article with more images Click HERE

Did you miss one of the Chronic Pain Series articles? Click HERE

For Thoracic Roll product information Click HERE