Thoracic Spine Stiffness

Thoracic Spine Stiffness

The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae that sit in-between the neck and the lumbar area. This is often an area of neglect as most people complain of neck or low back pain or problems.

Poor posture is a big contributor to causing problems in the spine. Some people will naturally slump forward in sitting causing the thoracic spine to become hunched forward or kyphosed. We are also a society of desk-based workforce.

People with neck problems may experience pain on turning, lifting or bending the neck. As the neck spine (cervical spine) is directly connected to the thoracic spine, you could start to compensate movement by keeping the thoracic spine rigid to allow more movement in the neck. It is important to not just work on the neck mobility but also the mobility of the thoracic spine.

The thoracic spine helps us to lift our arms as the shoulder blades sit within the thoracic spine. Shoulder problems can cause reduced mobility at the shoulder level, which will directly affect the thoracic spine. It is therefore vital to exercise the thoracic spine as well as the affected shoulder joint. It may be necessary to mobilize individual joints in the thoracic spine by a qualified physiotherapist. This will help to increase the range of movement in the spine, which will in turn help to mobilize the shoulder.

Similarly those who suffer with low back problems will compensate in their thoracic spine. It may be possible that the lumbar spine needs to arch more in order to get more movement. This might cause you to “hinge” move at the junction between the thoracic and lumbar spine.

In most cases, simple stretches, rotation and exercises can help to mobilize the thoracic spine. Various other treatments may be needed to help the spine move better which include trigger point treatment, deep tissue massage, joint mobilization, ultrasound, TENS, acupuncture, stretches and exercise.

Therapists at Silver Physio can help with any spinal problem or pain and we are able to see you in the comfort of your home to assess and treat your individual problem. We could also visit at your workplace to assess desk positioning.

Please contact us for an assessment and further advice.

To arrange a home visit and get your treatment started ASAP, email us at or telephone: 020 3637 8988.