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I have such a thoracic spine problems I can barely live with it any more. I amd crawling out of bed at 4am for a sleepy two-hour row. When I put much hard work in and make that many sacrifices, injury is devastating. I think that is a problems, especially when it could be avoided by doing some simple flexibility work, and I don’t do it. I want to know more about thoracic spine problems, why most of us have it?

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The thoracic spine is the second most commonly injured area in rowers after lumbar spine. It is considered to be the least mobile area of all vertebral column. This is due to the length of the transverse processes, the costovertebral joints, decrease in disc height when compared to the lumbar spine and the rib cage. Movements that occur in the thoracic spine are mostly rotation and flexion and extension. Rowers inherently become limited into extension with all of us. This is because of the amount of time that rowers are in a seated position and the tendency for rowers to fall into thoracic spine flexion. This is especially when fatigued. With extension stiffness often comes an associated limitation of movement into the rotation. It is essential that rowers do regular flexibility exercises to maintain their thoracic extension and rotation, to avoid such a thoracic spine problems. Otherwise, they place themselves at risk of rib stress fractures, facet and costovertebral joint irritation. This can often refer pain to the chest wall or muscle trigger points in the erector spinae, rhomboids, levator scapulae or upper trapezius, that we report as thoracic spine problems.
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