Thoracic Towel Stretch

Thoracic Towel Stretch

Following on from our blog on the Thoracic Spine, here is a great stretch that everyone from desk workers to gym goers to mechanics should be doing – the Thoracic Towel Stretch!

Mobility and flexibility through the spine is absolutely vital for pain- free movement on a daily basis. An area of the spine that has a tendency to become stiff and tight in the majority of desk workers and students we see, is the thoracic spine.

Increased tightness and stiffness from slumping can lead to a decreased ability to extend the thoracic spine which can lead to;

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Headaches
  • Rib pain

The Thoracic Towel Stretch is an excellent way of preventing this build up in stiffness and tightness from occurring if performed on a regular/daily basis. If you have a foam roller that’s excellent, but if you haven’t invested in one yet, don’t stress you can just use a bath towel! The only other requirements are a pillow and a firm surface to lie down on such as a carpeted area or floorboards.

Instructions are as follows:

  1. If your using a towel, fold it in half width ways and then roll length ways to the end. The tighter you roll the towel the firmer the pressure on the spine. I always recommend when starting out with the exercise not to roll it too tight.
  2. Place the pillow on the floor and then centre the towel underneath it length ways or substitute with the foam roller if you have one.
  3. Lie down on top of the towel and have your head resting on the pillow. Make sure to have the top of the towel resting on the junctional area between the neck and the upper back and the bottom of the towel all way down towards the mid back. If you have a long foam roller, make sure you lie along it with your head resting on one end of the roller and your tail bone (sacrum) on the other.
  4. Make sure to have your knees bent and arms out to either side to make a “T” shape with your upper body.
  5. Rest there for approximately 4-5 minutes.

This exercise should provide you with a stretch through the front of the chest and a feeling of extension through the upper back. It should not cause you pain of any kind.

If you’re experiencing stiffness, muscle tension or pain make an appointment with one of our Osteopaths, Remedial Massage Therapist or Myotherapist for an assessment or advice.

Call (03) 9570 3388