Thoracic spine mobility, details that matters!
Updated: Dec 7, 2022
by Monica Lita
Bones are hard tissues; muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective fascia, nerves, blood vessels are soft tissues; the human body can express simultaneously compressive stress and tensile stress…logically and ideally if we move a bone tissue into a certain direction the soft tissue NEEDS to follow (say physics - the laws of deformation). From an evolutionary standpoint our bodies have experienced specific tensile stress variety of the soft tissue to adapt to certain physical demands. Ignoring these adaptations it’s like going against our genome.
To achieve a proper thoracic spine range capacity, FLEXION has to be trained FIRST…without thoracic flexion the rotation will be also very limited. There’s absolutely no reason from an architectural perspective of the T-Spine to exasperate the EXTENSION training.
The truth, too many Instagram training educational posts are promoting only the extension and rotation, without a logic programming and thought process. ⬇️
▪️See how the spinous processes are running more vertical towards the next vertebrae below? 1st Pic - at certain ROMs the extension will be limited (“bone on bone” jam);
▪️See how superior and inferior articular facets are connecting together? 2nd Pic - the shape of the two bone extremities dictates the limitation in extension, the inferior part of the capsule needs to be “pull apart” and rotate to increase fibers deformation of the capsule membrane;
▪️See how superior and inferior costal facets are connected to the corpus? 3rd Pic - thoracic flexion will promote separation between ribs and intercostal muscles increase length, proper length into those muscles allow us expanding better the thoracic cage during breathing;
▪️See how the connective tissue (“white stuff”) is running and build the T Spine, see the direction of the fibers? 4th, 5th Pic. - a perfect evolutionary architecture that also promotes flexion capacity…same as above, bone extremities needs separation/flexion to create directionality and increase flexibility into all that connective tissue that build the thoracic spine.