Thoracic outlet syndrome treatment Exercises, we can all agree that having your skeleton aligned correctly is essential for a great quality of life.
Joint, posture and bone alignment deviations are more common than you think.
You probably have a few going on which you haven’t noticed.
Maybe you have actually noticed them, but just don’t quite know what to do about them.
The Angst of Skeletal Deviations
These deviations usually manifest as nagging aches and pains. Exercises for thoracic outlet syndrome, sometimes in spots that are far from the affected site.
This is because skeletal deviations often lead to nerve impingement or a “pinched nerve”.
The pressure placed on nerves and blood vessels in deviated joint junctions leads to them being jammed and constricted.
This disturbs their function and in severe cases can lead to loss of motor skills (ability to move) or even tissue death due to lack of blood supply (gangrene)
In most common cases however, these deviations can be treated.
In this article, we will look at one in particular that affects many Americans.
What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or TOS is a category of conditions that occur when the blood vessels and nerves that run between your clavicle (collar bone) and first rib are jammed and constricted.
This space is called the thoracic outlet and needs to have a little leeway in order for this bundle of nerves and blood vessels to function correctly.
To fix this, there are a few things you can do.
You could see a specialist and get your skeletal alignment adjusted by a physiotherapist.
This is a great way to guarantee success, but it will also cost you a pretty penny.
Thoracic outlet syndrome treatment Exercises, the other option is to try some handy exercises that will condition the muscles surrounding your thoracic outlet for correct spacing.
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Without wasting too much time, let’s get straight into the best Exercises to prevent or treat TOS
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Top 4 Thoracic outlet syndrome treatment exercises
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Physical Therapy
1. Neck Stretching
Your first point of contact is the neck of course. Stiffness in the neck is often a factor in TOS.
That’s because it is often caused by enlargement of the scalene muscles.
These are the muscles on the side of your neck and are responsible for holding everything together regarding your thoracic junction.
When these muscles grow, they become stiff and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the TO sufficiently open
Thoracic outlet syndrome physical therapy fixing stiff muscles is a matter of increasing the range of motion or ROM. Exercises for thoracic outlet syndrome, by increasing flexibility/ROM, you’re allowing the muscles to engage in a way that creates the right kind of space for good alignment.
There are several different neck stretches you can try including:
- Front to back tilt
- Side to side rotation
- Ear to shoulder tilt
Do each of these four no more than 20 seconds each side.
2. Shoulder Shrugs
The serratus anterior which sits in front of the shoulder blade must be activated to optimise realignment of the thoracic outlet.
This is because your pectoral muscles and scalene muscles may be overworking while the shoulder blade, or scapula groups are underused
This creates an imbalance as these muscles need to be in sunergy for healthy motor function.
Shoulder shrugs can be done with light resistance from dumbbells or bands.
Thoracic outlet syndrome physical therapy with equal weight or equal length of band in each hand, pull your shoulders up, then gradually let them down, maintaining tension. Do this for 3 sets of 10 reps each.
Make sure you keep your neck in a neutral position and focus only on back shoulder movement.
3. Pec Stretch
Thoracic outlet syndrome treatment Exercises just as a weak back/scapula region can lead to the imbalances that cause TOS, an over developed pectoral region can result in the same, even if your back is relatively strong.
This happens because pectoral hypertrophy (muscle growth), tends to lead to a loss in flexibility.
A stiff pectoral region means the musculature is pulling forward putting your entire shoulder and cervical spine region out of alignment, perfect conditions for TOS.
The obvious solution for this is to stretch the pecs. Exercises for thoracic outlet syndrome the best time to do this is after you’re worked then or after a hot shower when the muscles are warm and more pliable.
To do a pec stretch, place one hand firmly against a wall and turn away, stretching your chest muscle until slight discomfort. Hold for no more than 20 seconds, then gently release. Repeat with the other side.
4. Resistance Band Pull-apart
This one activates similar muscle groups to the shoulder shrug, but instead of a vertical pulling motion, you are performing abduction of the shoulders using a resistance band as your load.
Thoracic outlet syndrome physical therapy this is a great anterior serratus activator if you’re at home or even travelling. That’s of course, because a resistance band is more home and travel friendly than weights.
Hold the band with both hands from the midline of your chest. Pull apart as far as you can then release, maintaining tension throughout the movement. Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps each.
Try and maintain neutrality in your back, neck and chest when doing this one. Just focus on the feeling and effort on your shoulder blades.
So there you have it, four quick and easy ways to solve your TOS problem.
Thoracic outlet syndrome treatment Exercises can be done at home or at the gym under the guidance of a professional.
Before doing any of these, we advise you to contact a doctor or physiotherapist if you suspect TOS.
Thats because TOS is not always caused by poor exercise habits. Sometimes it can be a genetic defect, the result of injury or caused by an underlying health condition.
If you have any other questions, please drop us a line and we’ll be sure to get back to you ASAP.
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