The middle back or thoracic spine is between the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine)
It is comprised of 12 spinal bones (vertebrae), which a corresponding rib attaching to each one
These vertebrae and ribcage protect the heart, lungs, and other organs
The middle back is prone to stiffness to due prolonged slouching forward
Continue reading about the middle back region!
About Middle Back Pain
The thoracic spine - or middle twelve vertebrae of the spine - connect the neck to the low back. Anatomically, this region moves less than its counterparts. 'Thoracic' comes from the latin term 'thorax' meaning 'upper body armor/protection." This natural body of armor is designed to protect the vitally important organs of the heart and lungs. Since many people spend excessive amounts of time in a forward bend position, stiffness is common in this region. While some stiffness is accepted, problems may arise when this region loses motion. When you’re in pain or after slouching for a prolonged period of time, your movements can become stiff, guarded and uncomfortable. Stiffness and guarding will lead to unnatural ways to move. Of course, it’s human nature to fear moving freely to avoid pain in these situations. However, it can be empowering to know that letting go of that fear can allow the body to loosen and encourage movement to happen in a natural and fluid manner. Martial artist and actor Bruce Lee illustrated this idea beautifully:
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water, my friend.”
Moral of the story: Our bodies adapt to our environment. While it is normal and acceptable to become the shape of your office chair, you must also be able to adapt to all other life stresses. To much sitting or slouching will inhibit your ability to freely move in other directions.
When does it typically occur? Symptoms typically occur after typing, texting, watching television, or sitting slouched for prolonged periods of time. It is not that any of those activities are BAD, but rather the duration and combination of each activity.