THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME

Enjoying overhead activities, again.

THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME

Enjoying overhead activities, again.

5/5

I would continually awaken out of sleep with pain in my arms and couldn’t do any overhead activities for long without pain.  Now I am able to return to my normal activities, and can go back to working out my arms at the gym thanks to Dr. Schehr. 

Rob C.

WHAT IS IT?

Thoracic outlet syndrome refers to symptoms related to compression of nerves and blood vessels in the region between your neck and upper chest.

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

  • Pain in the neck, shoulders and arm,
  • Swelling, numbness, weakness and/or tingling down the arms and into your hands
  • You may also experience cold hands.
  • Often symptoms worsen when your arms are overhead.
  • Most symptoms occur down the pinky side of the arm and hand.

HOW DOES IT DEVELOP?

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome may be due to trauma, repetitive injuries, pregnancy, and anatomical defects, such as having an extra rib.
  • It is common among athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive motions of the arm and shoulder, such as baseball, swimming, volleyball, weightlifting and other sports.
  • Poor posture and weight lifting are possible causes.
  • It can also occur from sleeping awkwardly on your side.

HOW CAN I CAN MANAGE MY THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME?

  • Avoiding prolonged positions with your arms held out or overhead may reduce your symptoms.
  • It is best to avoid sleeping on your side or stomach or with your arm extended up behind the head.
  • It is also helpful to have rest periods at work to minimize fatigue.
  • Avoid repetitive lifting of heavy objects and overhead activities.

WHAT IF I CANNOT MANAGE THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME?

  • Failure to manage thoracic outlet syndrome effectively may result in increased pain and decreased function.
  • It may begin to affect other parts of your body to compensate for the pain and dysfunction.
  • Sleep may become more and more affected.
  • Be sure to contact Baltimore Holistic Physical Therapy if your symptoms worsen or don’t improve after several days.

HOW CAN BALTIMORE HOLISTIC PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP?

A thorough history to identify the cause(s) of your thoracic outlet syndrome will be taken.  As everything in the body is connected, the whole body will be assessed to identify the major factors involved and to remedy the situation as quickly and fully as possible.

After identifying the source of the problem, your symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome are treated. Effective treatment and best practices will include an integrated approach using manual therapies including positional release, visceral manipulation, muscle energy, neural mobilization, and joint mobilization.  

Treatment is ultimately geared towards freeing up the nerves to help reduce symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling.

Quite often, “fixing” the problem is only one aspect of the treatment.  Teaching you how to avoid future problems is very specific to your needs and will be addressed accordingly.  This holistic approach is designed for you to minimize your time spent in the physical therapy office and maximize your quality of life as quickly as possible.

What Our Patients Have To Say

5/5

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

A:  Firstly, I don’t believe in doing what didn’t work before. Many physical therapy practices approach a problem by going to the painful region. Oftentimes, this is a very temporary fix. By taking a holistic, hands-on approach, I understand that your pain may be coming from another part of the body, or even have multiple sources, including posture. By individualizing your treatment, I concentrate on healing and re-balancing the body, to manage your pain and lessen the chance of it returning. Then, I teach you how to manage your posture and movement.

A: Treatments for headaches or other pain from a recent problem will generally benefit from 2 treatment sessions for the first 2 weeks, then 1 session per week. Older conditions will benefit from 2 treatment sessions for the first week and then 1 session per week. Wellness sessions to rebalance and optimize the body for healthy aging range from a single session every month to once every six months and will be recommended on an individual basis.

A: An initial evaluation will take 1 hour. (Scar adhesion or sinus treatments only require 45 minutes.) Most follow-up treatments will be done in 30 minute sessions; multiple body areas may require 45 minutes

A: Any heavy exercise or recreational program should be done prior to the physical therapy or wellness session and then not for 24 hours after, in order for the body to adjust itself to the changes in muscle balance.

A: I will teach you techniques to perform on yourself if there is a flare-up and instruct you on proper body mechanics and ergonomics.

A: It is a facial aesthetics program of wrinkle reduction and facial rejuvenation using hands-on physical therapy and osteopathic techniques which may reduce the signs of aging in the face and neck. A FREE HEALTHY AGING CONSULTATION is available. See Refacée®

A: Although many patients have health insurance, Baltimore Holistic Physical Therapy does not participate with health insurances.

A: Appointments may be made in the following ways: Please call 410-665-3223 Email: Dr.Susan@baltimoreholisticpt.com