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Recognizing and Treating Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (Part 2 of 2)

Posted Jan 22 2009 5:32pm

Recently we wrote to describe and explain how compression at the thoracic outlet can cause pain, stiffness and problems throughout the arms. The problem remains that many doctors don’t know how to diagnose or remedy the problem.

You can help your doctors by learning more about your own condition, pay careful attention to your symptoms, and report what you know about your symptoms to your health care professionals.

Common Symptoms to Watch For:

1) A feeling of tension in your chest or neck
2) Stiffness, heaviness and soreness in your arms that can’t be pinpointed to a specific place
3) Pains or aches that migrate in your arms
4) Poor posture and hunching
5) Symptoms improve if you regularly stretch out your shoulders and correct your posture.

So what can you do to help yourself if you think you might have this condition? Here are some proven methods for healing and treatment:

7 Steps to Healing from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

1) Stretch your back, neck and shoulders as part of your regular stretching routine a few times a day. Try moving your arms in circles, or stretching your arms behind you. Bend at the waist and let your arms swing loosely around, to stretch out your back and get blood flowing.
2) Use passive stretches too. When you sleep, try sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides, to let them relax. Or lay on the floor after work with arms spread, to give them a stretch and let your muscles and nerves heal and fall back into proper places.
3)Use a keyboard tray, comfortable keyboard and an ergonomic setup to make sure you are typing in the proper posture at all of your desks, home and work
4) Strengthen your back, particularly your scalene muscles, to help hold your shoulders in the proper upright position.  
5) Ice your chest after work to help reduce swelling and compression, and warm up with a heat pack or gentle exercise before working.
6) Try massage on your back, neck and chest to help get blood flowing and relax tense muscles.
7) Try visiting a chiropractor to help realign your spine and relieve pressure in that area.

Possibly related posts:

  1. What Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome? (Part 1 of 2)
  2. New Research: Holding A Stretch Can Weaken Muscles
  3. Quasimodos of the Future–Unite!

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