Mid-Back Stretch – Cat Stretch

cat-stretchMid -Back – Cat Stretch

  1. Lower into a squat with the hands on the thighs, back arched
  2. Contract your abdominal muscles. (Try to pull your belly button gently toward your spine.)
  3. Slowly round your back, pushing it up toward the ceiling.
  4. Allow your head to drop forward and curl your pelvis under.
  5. Hold for 10 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch in your back.
  6. Return to the starting position.
  7. Raise your head up and let your pelvis fall forward as your belly reaches down toward the floor.
  8. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds, then return to the starting position.
  9. Repeat about 5 to 10 times.

Breathing for health exercise

Sit comfortably in an upright chair with your back supported and your feet on the floor.

Place your hands on either side of your lower ribcage with your fingers resting on your upper belly.

Take a gentle breath in to your hands, feeling for the rounding of your abdomen. Appreciate the sensation of your fingers moving gently apart as your abdomen rounds. Allow this to happen.

As you breathe out your abdomen narrows whilst the fingers of each hand move toward each other.

Continue with this gentle breathing pattern for several minutes. Allow any thoughts to drift away by returning your focus to breathing movements occurring at your hands.

When you feel ready to end the exercise, take a full breath in and out. Then return your awareness to the place you are sitting in. Slowly continue with your daily activities.

Trunk Stiffness and Poor Breathing

Our experienced Physios at Physiotherapy for Women are regularly treating very stiff, almost rigid muscles and joints of the ribcage, mid back and shoulder blades.

Habitual upper chest  breathing is often associated with trunk stiffness.

The upper chest and shoulder girdle muscles take over from normal diaphragmatic breathing.  The diaphragm is a core stabilising muscle that separates your chest cavity from your abdominal cavity.

Ineffective breathing is energy sapping with working the wrong muscle systems.

women can be presenting with:

  • sharp shoulder blade pain with movement
  • breath holding.
  • rib pain on the breath in
  • limited trunk and/or neck.
  • rotation
  • mid back stiffness
  • poor breathing patterns
  • increased kyphosis or mid back rounding
  • forward head posture
  • weak core muscles

Examination of the thoracic spine ribcage, shoulders, neck and breathing is essential.  This enables the Physio to set a specific treatment plan.

Physiotherapy treatment may include:

  • restoring normal breathing patterns
  • soft tissue massage
  • specific joint mobilisation
  • ultrasound
  • muscle trigger point release
  • dry needling/acupuncture
  • strengthening core muscle stability
  • strengthening shoulder girdle muscles
  • training neck and mid back posture
  • restoring movement patterns with breath awareness

Moving well with healthy breathing is invigorating.



Keep Active in Autumn

Don’t let that sudden nip in the air put your workout plans into hibernation. Instead take your exercise routine inside. You’ll find a substitute for almost every outdoor exercise activity. If you love to swim outdoors during the summer, move your laps into an indoor pool.

Do you treasure summer afternoons biking around the park? During autumn, maintain your fitness levels on a stationary bike until the weather warms up again. Moving into the gym can provide a great opportunity to mix up your training routine. Make use of the wide range of equipment in a gym and include weights as well as cardio into your plan.

Good Friends contribute to your health and well-being

Spending time with friends is fun, but it may also yield a multitude of long-term physical and emotional health benefits.

Studies show that healthy relationships make aging more enjoyable, lessen grief, and provide camaraderie to help you reach personal goals, among other things.

Maintaining positive relationships should rank up there with healthy eating and exercise as a necessary investment in your health.