Thoracic Rotations- Showing up as upper back pain
A lot of my clients come in with upper back discomfort (often on one side.) Sometimes this is due to repeating  motion twisting in one direction and not equally the other.... 

When you look over your shoulder you should turn your body in this way:
First- initiate the movement using your eyes. Then turn hips, turn shoulders, follow through with your neck. This uses synergistic muscles. These are muscles that work together to create a movement. It will also train the nervous system. The nervous system motor skills are developed by babies are they develop their motor skills. Pressing up on belly, rocking, crawling and rolling over are patterns that the baby earns.  These movements actually train the brain. (It also affects the brain in other ways too. For example- crawling and reading are connected. If you don’t do the motor movement of training the brain with crawling, you will have issues with reading.) While most adults had perfected movement as babies, over time and or injuries, we lose ideal movement. By practicing these movements we can retrain our brain and nervous system. Like turning the computer off and back on can re-boot the computer system, doing these movement patterns reboots our nervous system. For more information on Original strength. 

How rolling patterns/thoracic rotation show up as adults. Turning the neck. Driving. Sitting at desks with a dominant hand. Repetitive movement like me doing massage. Babies if bottle fed from the same side, or always on the same hip being held. 
How to address it?
  • Break down the movement…(train individual muscles)
  • Put it together as a body (training the nervous system with rolling patterns)
  • Apply it to life
Break down the movement:
This is great when spending a lot of time at the computer. You have a preference to sides. Examples would be sitting at a desk turning to one side. Or for when you regularly reach to a particular side for something from your desk, such as a printer or calculator. You will need more work to your less dominant side.  In gait, your thoracic area should equally rotate to both sides. You can see this as one arm moving more forward than the other side (or one being further back.) You should have good equal movement on both sides, so improving this movement can decrease repetitive injuries. For gait: a marching movement accentuating the arms will help

Once the twisting pattern seems simple- add resistance by doing band work. This trains the brain- its more about the stretchy equal movement rather than muscling through it....
Rolling patterns.
(Rolling patterns show us where we are having issues with synergistic movement and teach our brain how to do the movement) You can determine where issues are according to where you have challenges moving. These are both the test and the treatment. And use props. We are training the nervous system. Its fine to get yourself halfway there with half bolsters or pillows because you are training your brain HOW to make the movement. As you get better, you challenge it until you can do all the movement. And Original strength has ways of challenging the movement even further should you want to add (body) weight or repetition.
4 quadrants, both sides= 8 ways to do this. Each arm and leg leads, front and back.
Using tools to improve: Rapid light stimulation (bumpy balls) on the muscle chains can improve function/ Feel the area better/ perform it better. It a muscle or joint isn’t mobile enough, longer, deeper and slower foam rolling can improve function. 
Rolling patterns: Original Strength 
Issues with driving show up often because of stiffness or lack to stability causing stiffness. These are exercises that can help with mobility. In addition to mobility, increasing proprioception and improving proprioceptive nerves help with reflex time.
Note: you could straighten the under leg and bolster the upper bent leg…(Katy’s)
Ankle mobility test: lunge position on floor with front toe 4 inches from wall. Keeping heel on ground, see if you can touch your knee to the wall. Compare sides.
Humeral Arm twist: on ground or against walls, keeping arm and hands straight twist from the shoulder. 
Finger stretch: one finger at a time extended.
Elbow touch:  Place your elbows touching in front of your body with hands pointed towards ceiling- Separate hands with your elbows still touching. 
In Katy Bowman’s book- Dynamic Aging there is a graph with common issues with driving dexterity and the exact exercises that help it. 
For more information:
Original Strength
Katy Bowman   Nutritious Movement
Rachel Dixon,LMT    508-364-2380


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