Pain in the thoracic- or mid-back- area can cause sore and stiff muscles, fatigue, and even pain that radiates through the arms. The mid-section of the back houses the nerves that run to all of your major organs. As a result, misalignment in the thoracic spine can wreak havoc on body function.
Poor Posture- A Modern Day Epidemic
Since the advent of tech, more people are sitting hunched over for hours on end with little movement. Computers, tablets, smart phones, and other technology all promote poor posture when ergonomics aren’t paid attention to. The human body was not designed to be placed in a single position for extended periods of time without having some negative consequences.
And it’s not just an issue for office workers or techies. Many professions such as dental hygienists, mechanics, surgeons, and even chiropractors require the body to be used in an awkward posture. Without proper care of the spine and surrounding muscles, most of us are bound to end up like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’s Quasimodo by the time we retire. The end result of these long periods of awkward and poor posture is stiffness, soreness and pain in the mid to upper back, mostly between the shoulder blades.
Fortunately, chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage therapy can all be extremely beneficial to correcting the affects of poor posture. Each one separately can do wonders for an aching back, but together they can be the perfect combination to address this issue and reduce pain quickly.
Addressing Pain Between the Shoulders and Mid Back
Treatment for pain between the shoulders or in the mid back requires consideration of the position in which you spend the majority of your time. By understanding daily body mechanics- the stress and strain that is placed on the muscles, connective tissue, joints, and bones- a precise treatment protocol can be created. Often times, the best treatment is to prescribe therapies that promote rebalancing body alignment through working opposing postures. To put it simply, if you are stuck in the same position all day and your body is really hurting, simply do the opposite.
Realigning the Spine
Primary treatment of any thoracic pain issue is to address the areas of the spine that are not moving as they should. With an effective chiropractic adjustment to the area, motion is restored to the joint and removes stress and tension on the supporting structures. After the joints have been mobilized, tight and weak muscles can more effectively and efficiently treated with physical therapy exercises and myofascial release massage techniques. Muscles that are tight get stretched and muscles that are weak get strengthened. The result? Balance and alignment are restored and pain disappears.
Home Care Tips
Reducing pain between your shoulders can be helped along with more careful attention to how you are using your body during the day. These simple tips are important to reducing thoracic pain at home or work:
- Proper ergonomics – Take a look at how your workplace or home office is setup and make changes to the height of your chair, screen, and location of your keyboard. Better yet, get an exercise ball to sit on or even a standing desk. OSHA has a few guidelines that will help you set up your workspace.
- Step away from the desk or chair– Get up out of your seat from time to time and stretch, walk around, and get you blood flowing. Set an alarm on your phone for every 15 minutes.
- Take a posture break – Specifically a Bruegger’s Posture Break every 15 or 30 minutes. If you need a little more direction, a simple search on YouTube will get you a few demonstrations and explanations.
- Foam Roll to stretch and strengthen – Pick up a foam roller at Senara and use it every other day to daily if needed. A foam roller can be used on most areas of the body. Senara’s licensed physical therapists will show you the best exercises for you to do for your thoracic pain, and ensure you know how to do them safely for maximum results.