The exercise foam roll is a great tool to keep the thoracic spine mobile so that it can react as needed to re-position itself under the corrected cervical spine and above the lumbar spine, before cervical and lumbar correction can be expected and maintained. Find out how the Exercise Foam Roll can help!
Remember: The thoracic spine is the core of the spine!
5 Benefits of Exercise Foam Roll
Improved circulation and delivery of oxygen, nutrients and blood to the muscle: This helps your muscles to function at optimum capacity, to recover efficiently, and to remove waste products effectively.
Decreased pain and soreness: Many muscle knots are painful! They’re either painful to the touch, or because of where they’re located, they’re painful during movement, which can result in altered range of motion.
Decreased likelihood of injury: An altered range of motion due to painful knots or a shortening of the muscle fibers due to persistent contraction can lead to muscle imbalances and injury. Rolling out the knots and keeping your muscles long and pliable reduces the likelihood of injury.
Increased range of motion: Regular use of a foam roller can even help you increase your range of motion as you loosen up tight areas and help clear scar tissue.
Cost-effective therapy: You may not be able to afford three massages a week, but you can probably afford a foam roller!
It is always important to discuss any muscle issues with a health professional, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce mild muscle tension and pain within your own body. A great way to do this is foam rolling!
For the average busy professional who spends a lot of time sitting at a desk, I would recommend foam rolling the thoracic spine (upper back) and the glutes. Sitting at a desk and working at a computer often leads to forward rounded shoulders and a shortening/tightening of the gluteal muscles, both of which can lead to poor posture and chronic pain.
For forward rounded shoulders, foam rolling the thoracic spine and doing a few mobilization stretches/exercises could help stretch the front of the body while decreasing tension or pain in the upper back. If performed consistently and regularly, foam rolling could help improve posture, alleviate chronic pain, and improve performance.
Click the link for a great video of how to properly use the Exercise Foam Roll, explained by a Pettibon System Instructor: Foam Roll Video