Last Modified on Jun 22, 2014
Treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome addresses the underlying muscle weakness with lifestyle changes, exercise and a massage technique called myofacial release. Herbal cures reduce the inflammation and help relieve pain.
What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
Weak shoulder muscles that cannot hold the collarbone in place cause a rare condition known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The space between your first rib and collarbone is the thoracic outlet, crowded with nerves, blood vessels and muscles. When the collarbone slips from its proper place, it puts pressure on the nerves and blood vessels and causing various symptoms depending on which nerves or blood vessels are being compressed. There may be pain, tingling, weakness or swelling in the neck, shoulder, arm or hand. Range of motion will be limited. Nerve compression is more common than blood vessel compression. Thoracic outlet syndrome can be a birth defect or a result of disease or injury. Poor posture and obesity make the problem worse.
Natural Remedies for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Natural treatments for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome focus on strengthening the weak shoulder muscles. While the inflammation can be treated with herbal remedies, the condition will persist until the collarbone is no longer pressing on nerves and blood vessels. Lifestyle changes incorporating a treatment regimen of exercise, myofacial release and herbal remedies can gradually correct the problem.
The goal of lifestyle changes is to end with the collarbone in the correct position. Examine seating, workstation and any activities looking for ways to improve them; everything should encourage good posture. Carrying anything heavy on the shoulder should be avoided entirely. If needed, losing weight helps. Exercises that encourage good posture and muscle stretching and strengthening (such as neck stretches and shoulder rolls) can be done twice daily. Do not do anything that causes more pain.
Myofacial Release is a massage technique traditionally used to relieve back pain and has been successfully used as an alternative treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Manual pressure and stretching are used to alleviate restricted movement, thereby reducing pain. Some massage therapists may recommend a method of self-myofacial release using foam rollers which patients can do at home to speed healing.
Many herbal cures are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric contains curcumin which reduces inflammation. Traumeel is a homeopathic ointment used for joint pain which contains 14 natural remedies including arnica, used topically for joint pain. Ginger and garlic have many health benefits, among them anti-inflammatory properties.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome restricts movement and daily activities, leaving many sufferers feeling depressed. Alternative medical treatments done as part of a treatment regimen will slowly correct the muscle weakness. Inflammation and pain is reduced with herbal remedies. This syndrome can usually be treated without surgery.