Neck arthritis is caused when too much impact occurs on the structures of our spine over too long a period of time. Pills and injections can help manage pain associated with neck arthritis but fail to address any underlying causes. The best treatments for neck arthritis are ones that lower stress on the neck. Improving mid back mobility is one of the ways we can limit impact on the spine and should be part of any plan to treat neck arthritis.
The Relationship Between Mid-Back Mobility And Neck Arthritis
Movement of your mid back is directly linked to movement of your neck. A more rounded (kyphotic) mid back causes your head to jut forward. This leads to more extension in the neck which puts added stress on yoru joints. Overtime this leads to worsening neck arthritis. Which is why improving mid back mobility is the best treatment for neck arthritis.
How To Improve Mid-Back Mobility To Treat Neck Arthritis
In general, the thoracic spine (mid-back) involves two movements, extension and rotation. Improving mobility of both will help to take impact off the joints of your neck and the best treatments for neck arthritis. The following exercises are my favorite ways to safely improve mid back mobility into extension and rotation.
Foam Roll Extension Level 1
Our level one mid back extension mobilization is a great place to start because it’s more gentle on the spine. For a deeper stretch and mobilization move to Level 2.
Foam Roll Extension Level 2
For a deeper stretch and mobilization use your body weight to extend over the foam roller. Start at the base of your shoulder blades and work your way up. Avoid foam rolling the lower back as this can damage the joints in your lower back. Be sure to place your hands on the back of your neck to avoid overextension.
Foam Roll Thread The Needle
To improve mid back rotation my favorite exercise is the thread the needle. Starting with the foam roller allows greater control of the movement and allows you to sink deeper into rotation for a greater stretch.
Thread The Needle
Without the foam roller the thread the needle becomes a full body mobilization exercise. Focus on pushing each movement into it’s ‘end range’ for more effective results.
Improving mid back mobility is one of the best treatments for neck arthritis. Incorporating these mobility exercises with a full body strengthening plan is THE BEST way to ease the pain and stiffness associate with neck arthritis and avoid a lifetime of pills, injections and surgery.
For the last 10 years I’ve been working with adults to help solve chronic neck pain, keep active, and maintain their lifestyle as they get older. To get started building the strength to solve chronic joint pain, be sure to download my free guide ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ below.