Tuesday, July 17, 2012

All Things Thoracic Spine Part 1: Functional Anatomy

For those of you who geek out on anatomy, breathing & alignment - check out the three-part series on the thoracic spine. Revel in the beauty of our insanely complex physical bodies!
Functional Anatomy: Why the Hell T-Spine Mechanics are Important
Here’s the gist of functional anatomy. I’m not going to bore you with the details of how many degrees of rotation each vertebrae has (7-9 degrees), or the bony components that make it kick ass, or try to make myself sound super-serious and book smart (poop), because it’s more important to know what the hell all of that means when it comes to getting your [yoga] on and preventing you from having a soul-draining injury for the rest of your life from not training like a jack-bag. Sound good? Thought so.

The T-spine has three primary roles: attachment point for the ribs; attachment point for the scapula; and mobility for the ability to flex forward, extend backward and rotate. We’ll talk about each three today, as well as what components need to be involved with a training program or assessments.

The ribs attach to the entire length of the thoracic spine, which is one of their defining physical features compared to other segments of the spinal column. The ribs are interconnected by intercostal muscles, and under the direct influence of the respiratory muscles like the scalenes, diaphragm, rectus abdominis, and to a lesser degree the remainder of the core musculature. Read More of Part 1...

Part 2 : Assessments and Figuring it All Out
Part 3: Corrective Strategies