Another self mobilization/stretch technique to improve mid back and low back flexibility. The wedge is very specific and can target specific segments of the spine.
Technique to improve mid back and low back flexibility [Click To Tweet]
Stretches to improve low back flexibility [Click To Tweet]
Exercise to improve lower back flexibility [Click To Tweet]
Tools used to improve lower back flexibility:
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and herbalist. So I’m going to show you another technique on how to improve the mobility of your lower thoracic spine or even your low back for that matter. So in the past I’ve shown you a technique on how to improve the mobility of your upper back, your thoracic spine or even your CT junction for those of you who have neck-related issues and you’re really stiff in that upper back, which is resulting in increased stress or irritation of the cervical region. So this one is more for improving mobility of your thoracic spine, so if we get your thoracic spine moving better, especially your lower thoracic region, and it could be your lumbar or your low back also that could be stiff.
The wedge works really well because it tends to isolate the area that you’re trying to target. So it’ll focus in on, so this is where your spine’s processes or your spine’s going to sit, and it’s going on either side of that and on a particular segment to improve the mobility of that segment. Of course, it can also affect the soft tissue, so the local muscles too.
So what I’m going to do is we’re just going to reverse that we did for the upper back. So, actually I’m going to be laying down—you can do it on the floor also—and I’m going to place the wedge, so let’s say if I’m trying to target the thoracic area, so I’m going to place it right on that region that I’m trying to target. Now, I control how much stretching or mobilization I want to do by letting my pelvis drop down onto it. So if I’m really stiff I can’t come down as far, and if I have good mobility I can drop down further, of course. So this is great because the bridging and coming down onto a particular segment allows me to control how much pressure I’m applying at that particular segment. So I’m stretching and mobilizing that particular segment by bridging and just letting myself settle into that position.
Now, you might find one side is stiffer than the other, so then you can of course do some rotation also. I can do some rotation to the side where it applies more pressure or I can go the other way and I can test and see where it is. And you can see where the wedge is right here, right? So as I roll over it, I can feel either direction. So when I go to my right side I feel more my right side now, and when I go to the left side I feel more pressure on my left side where it’s mobilizing or stretching those tissues as well as by dropping down and just letting my pelvis settle down onto the treatment table.
And you can move it around. So I might find, well, I’m not that stiff there and let’s bring it down a notch, so I might find another segment and I might do the exact same thing there. So I can work at, again, raising up and gently lowering down to find a particular segment where I might be stiff.
So most often the issue is in the lower thoracic region or the upper lumbar where you might have some stiffness. The low lumbar region usually is not so stiff and you tend to have more mobility in some of those segments because most people tend to be quite stiff in the hip region as well as the lower thoracic region, or the midback region for that matter, so resulting in more mobility usually in the low lumbar area. But of course, you can be stiff in those areas, and so depending on what you’re trying to target, if you’re really stiff, then you can be more specific and target specific segments or specific regions with this technique and you can really work at mobilizing the segments.
So be cautious, don’t overdo it. Two or three minutes, start with that first, and gentle, don’t crank on it, and then see how it responds. You might get a little sore initially, but each successive should get easier and easier and you can hang out and stretch for longer durations, so you can spend four, five minutes at a time mobilizing specific areas.
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