In an effort to achieve elite sporting status, children and adolescents are focusing on one sport earlier in their careers, often to the detriment of their bodies. Early specialisation of sport is a topic of conversation gaining a lot of traction across the country. ‘Specialisation’ occurs when an athlete focuses on only one sport, at the exclusion of any other. A few weeks ago, I attended the Adolescent Athletes Symposium held by Sports Medicine Australia in Geelong. Geraldine Naughton a professor in Paediatric Science highlighted the increase in early specialisation and presented some of the most recent research in this area.
While some people do present with a thoracic spine (upper/mid back) that is extended (flat/over-arched), most people present to the clinic with too much thoracic flexion (pronounced upper back)
Poor thoracic posture and position can potentially cause / lead to various upper body musculoskeletal issues.
Poor thoracic posture typically decreases performance in overhead positions and movements (i.e chin-ups, overhead press) and many sports (golf/tennis, just to name a few) due to a lack of range of motion in the area and compensations in other areas.
You can do a basic assessment to get an idea if you need more mobility in your thoracic spine
While there are many exercises, the 4 in this blog post have worked well for me in the clinic.
With our lives revolving increasingly around our work schedules, it is more important than ever to ensure our workspaces are set up ergonomically to promote good posture and reduce posture-related injuries.
Our bodies are delicate and require TLC to ensure they work to their fullest capacity. Young bodies are particularly delicate so it’s essential that we develop good habits early to reduce the risk and severity of injuries in the future.