Mobilization of the thoracic spine


As Mobilization one denotes in nursing measures that the Preservation of mobility serve the patient.

Mobilization should prevent the patient from losing his physical and psychological independence due to restricted mobility. Physiotherapists often work closely with the nursing staff here.

The Thoracic spine let yourself using various stretching, strength and muscle exercises mobilize. she promote mobility, stability and above all health of the Joints.

Through the exercises the Nutrition of the intervertebral discs promoted, which are dependent on a balanced movement of the spine. Also the Production of synovial fluid is stimulated in this way, which is essential for good mobility.

Exercises to strengthen muscles

The following is an overview of various exercises that you can do yourself at home to strengthen your thoracic spine.

An overview of the exercises that strengthen the back muscles can be found at: Strengthening the back muscles

For the following exercises you only need a chair that is firmly on the floor (no castors!). The starting position is an upright sitting position: the shoulders are lowered, the feet are firmly on the floor. Sit on the front edge of the chair and shift your weight evenly. Repeat each exercise 10 times.

  • The Chin is brought to the chest. Now you roll yourself further and further down (as far as you can). You have to make sure that your buttocks do not stand out from the seat.
  • In the next exercise, the Arms outwards and backwards stretched out. The palms of the hands are facing out, the thumbs up, and tense. Try to keep your shoulders as low as you can and bring them closer as you go. Move your arms back and forth!

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The spine is difficult to treat. On the one hand it is exposed to high mechanical loads, on the other hand it has great mobility.

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  • Now the Hands on shoulders. Turn around alternately to the right and left Outside. The head turns with the movement. It is important to ensure that the buttocks really stay on the seat.
  • Finally, from the same position, the right and left elbows to the floor led as far as possible. The head remains straight. Do not lift your buttocks off the seat! The body should not be tilted forwards or backwards during the exercise.
  • The following exercise is done in the Quadruped position on a carpet or a yoga mat, for example. Again, 10 repetitions are required. In alternation there is only one Cat hump and then a hollow back made.The head is rolled onto the chest in the back of the cat and placed in the back of the neck.
  • Now go to the Elbow-knee stand. They support themselves on the front on the entire forearms and on the back on the knees (or the shins). Again, alternately make a hollow back and a cat hump.

Exercises for stretching

The following exercises serve one adequate stretching of the thoracic spine.

This is also essential for a good mobilization. Stretching is particularly important for resilience and mobility of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

The following positions must be held for about 30 seconds before they relax again.

  • For the first exercise, lie down on the back and put your legs up, arms stretched out from your body. Then drop your legs to the right and turn your head to the left. After 30 seconds you switch sides.
  • You sit down upright on a chair. The hands are folded. Then stretch out your arms forwards and follow with your head. The back is rounded. Make sure you pull your elbows apart and push your shoulders down. Typically, it now pulls between the shoulder blades. Now fold your hands behind your back and pull your arms up as far as possible. Pay attention to an upright sitting posture. The chest is opened towards the front. Try to sit more upright each time you inhale.
  • This exercise is done in the state. The legs protrude a little shoulder width apart. Now raise your left arm over your head and tilt your upper body to the right. Repeat all of this on the other side. Really tilt your upper body just to the side, not forward or backward.
  • Clasp your hands in an upright position behind your head and slowly turn your upper body to the left. Then they bend the upper body briefly to the left. Repeat on the other side. (You don't have to hold the position for 30 seconds here).
  • To the lower thoracic spine To stretch, they cross their hands behind their heads while standing upright. Keep your head and shoulders straight and slide your upper body alternately to the right and left.

Strengthening exercises

The following exercises are for Strengthening the muscles.

Repeat the exercises between 10 and 20 times. Do several sets of exercises (at least 3).

  • Wall push-ups: Press your hands against the wall about shoulder width and shoulder height. Now do push-ups on the wall.
  • They perform the next exercise in the prone position out. The tiptoes are up. Now lift them on their own (Do not use your hands!) Upper body about 10 cm from the floor. The position will be about three breaths held long. Carefully lower it a little (but not all the way to the floor) and then raise it again. Look out for one calm breathing. Keep your arms bent at an angle of about 90 ° and taut at ear level. You can do the exercise in different variations. For example, lift your upper body and tilt it alternately to the right and left.

Mobilize through yoga

Yoga is ideal for mobilizing the thoracic spine and releasing blockages.

You can do yoga in a group or in a gym, but it is also very suitable for home exercise. All you need for simple exercises is a sports or yoga mat. When performing the exercises, you should be careful not to strain yourself too much. The intensity should be increased slowly and the exercises should only be carried out to the extent that is still comfortable to the touch.

Most yoga exercises focus on stretching the spine. There are numerous tutorials in the form of videos on various websites that illustrate the exercises adapted to different degrees of difficulty. Mobilizing the thoracic spine through yoga can be very helpful for mild vertebral blockages. However, one should refrain from starting self-experiments in the event of severe spinal injuries or very severe pain, herniated discs and the like. If you have a previous illness of the spine, a doctor should first clarify whether the spine is resilient and stable enough for the yoga exercises.

Mobilize the thoracic spine yourself

Mobilization of the thoracic spine is a central component of the therapy for a vertebral block. A distinction is made between passive and active mobilization.

The passive mobilization is through a Physiotherapists carried out. Active mobilization, on the other hand, is carried out by the patient himself under the guidance of the physiotherapist. In the following, some simple exercises will be presented with which you can mobilize your thoracic spine yourself.

However, this is in the case of very severe or manifest symptoms Spinal disorders to be foreseen. Before doing such self-experiments, it is advisable to clarify whether there is a higher degree of damage or a disease to the spine that could be made worse by such exercises. In the case of slight blockages or slight pain, however, the exercises are very well suited to promoting the mobility of the spine.

  • 1st exercise: Stand hip-width apart. Press your palms together in front of your chest and bend your knees slightly. Now rotate to the left in your spine and place your right elbow or the base of your rear upper arm on your right thigh. You look to the left. Try to rotate to the left as far as possible. Your arms form a line with your fingertips pointing towards your nose. Hold the position for 45 to 60 seconds per side. Then switch sides.
  • 2nd exercise: Come to the four-legged stand. Position yourself firmly on all fours. Now make a "cat hump". The chin rests on the chest. Breathe in and out calmly. Do not loosen position as you inhale. Only the stomach can then relax. Each time you exhale, try to pull your navel a little closer to the thoracic spine. Hold the position for a minute. Now sink into the "horse saddle". You go back to the four-legged position and let your stomach and back sag loosely.
  • 3rd exercise: From the four-legged stand you now bend back. As you inhale, push your sternum upwards, your chin following the movement. As you exhale, push your shoulders away from your ears. Try to increase movement with each breathing cycle.

Figure thoracic spine

Image of the thoracic spine: A - from the left and B - from the front

Thoracic spine (green)

  1. First cervical vertebra (carrier) -
  2. Second cervical vertebra (turner) -
  3. Seventh cervical vertebra -
    Vertebra prominent
  4. First thoracic vertebra -
    Vertebra thoracica I
  5. Twelfth thoracic vertebra -
    Vertebra thoracica XII
  6. First lumbar vertebra -
    Vertebra lumbalis I
  7. Fifth lumbar vertebra -
    Vertebra lumbalis V
  8. Lumbar cruciate ligament kink -
  9. Sacrum - Sacrum
  10. Tailbone - Os coccygis

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations