Thoracic outlet syndrome is a painful condition that causes pain in the shoulders and neck sometimes numbness in the fingers. It occurs because the space between the collarbone and the first rib are pressed together because of the nerves and blood vessels. The cause for thoracic outlet syndrome can come from a number of things, including a car accident, overuse injuries from sports and on the job, and pregnancy.
When a person is diagnosed with thoracic syndrome, he or she can expect to have it for their entire life, so pain will be there all of the time. There are eight pain relief measures for thoracic outlet syndrome to consider. Not every pain relief measure is right for everyone. In order to find the right pain relief measure, a person should talk to his or her doctor first. The doctor can do lab and imaging tests on the person to see what is the best pain plan for him or her.
1. Physical therapy
is the first pain relief measure that a doctor will suggest for thoracic outlet syndrome. With physical therapy, a patient will learn stretches that will strengthen the shoulder muscles that will open the thoracic outlet. Exercises for the neck and fingers will also be introduced. By doing these stretches over and over again, the pressure is taken off the nerves and blood vessels.
The stretches may be uncomfortable and painful at first, but the reason for this is because the muscles are tight. The physical therapist will take his or her time and gradually move a person from one stretch to another. The exercises practiced in physical therapy can be done at home too. The length of time spent in physical therapy is dependent on how much pain the person is in. Since this is a lifelong disorder, a person can expect to be going to physical therapy for a while.