The T-Spine, Sometimes Stabilize, not Mobilize!

Reference:Adapted from ideas by: Dr. Andrew Claus, PhD, Msc.PT.,BSc.PT

Have you noticed that we train muscular control for the lumbar spine and the cervical spine ?but ignore the muscles of the Thoracic spine?

Why is it assumed that the problem in the Thoracic spine is almost always ?stiffness? that needs to be mobilized or maniped?

Case Study: A 25-year-old female reported of a 2-year history of thoracic ?stiffness? and needing to ?crack? her mid back regularly to relieve herself of the stiffness and discomfort,

i.e. She performed self-thoracic manipulations 5-6X/day by rotating.

From her history, I knew that the last thing she needed was a thoracic manip or even mobs.

After only 2-weeks of muscular retraining and taping, she eliminated her habit and her need to self-manip.

The Treatment:
In supine, place the pressure biofeedback unit (PBU) adjacent to the symptomatic Thoracic levels on one side. Pump it to 40mmHg.

Ask the patient to straighten their arms to 90� of flexion and then slowly reach horizontally (abducting one arm and adducting the other) so as to apply a rotational perturbation, BUT he/she is to control the PBU pressure within 2 mmHg by using segmental stabilizers.

Repeat 5 reps each way, hold 10 seconds, and repeat with the PBU on the other side. Re-assess ROM and symptoms?don?t be surprised if you notice immediate improvements.

Posted on: October 30, 2002

Categories: Thoracic Spine

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