Rotation Series Part 1 – Thoracic Rotation and Why You Need It

Rotation Series Part 1 – Thoracic Rotation and Why You Need It

posted in: back, spine, The Lab | 0

Low Back Pain and Your Limited Rotation


We are covering a three part series on how limited rotation in the thoracic spine and/or hips can cause low back pain, impact your function, and impede on your performance in the gym. In this video, Dr. Claudia Chaloner discusses how limited thoracic rotation can cause extra strain on the tissues of the low back. Because of basic spinal anatomy, about 60-70 degrees of rotation should occur at the thoracic spine while only 10-15 degrees at the lumbar spine. This is important because if someone does not have efficient mobility in the thoracic spine then this can cause excessive movement at the lumbar spine which can then lead to instability at the low back. Mix this excessive movement with some poor mechanics and weakness with the deeper stabilizers of the spine and we have a recipe for disaster.


How to test

What to look for: Imbalance right to left, extreme tightness on both sides, or pain with movement

  1. On the floor
  2. Seated


How to fix it

Complete 15-20 reps of each if you notice tightness or an imbalance right to left (focus on the more limited side)

Before training or as part of your daily stretching routine

  1. Chest opener
  2. Quadruped rotation
  3. Squat with rotation


If you notice a significant imbalance or tightness OR you are having discomfort/pain with these tests and exercises then contact us at the Movement Rx team and we would love to take care of getting you back on the right track!


Cheers to better movement!

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