Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Self Care Tips
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome self care? Posture should be your focus. If there was one repetitive strain injury that was most dependent on good posture, then Thoracic Outlet Syndrome would be it.
If you have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome it is essential that you correct any posture imbalances that you may have, whether in a sitting posture or in a standing posture. This will provide a more open pathway for the passage of the brachial plexus and should significantly reduce your symptoms.
It is almost impossible, however, to correct poor posture without also releasing adhesions that are affecting the muscles and interfering with their work.
Brachial Plexus Birth Injury Treatment:
In babies or infants, if no improvement is shown after three months of occupational therapy, consulting a pediatric neurosurgeon or neurologist can help determine if your child can require any other treatments or surgeries. Up to 10 out of 1 babies who have brachial plexus injury will require surgeries.
If the injury occurred during delivery or birth time, the best time for surgery is when your child is between 4 to 9 months, as you waiting so the babies or infants to go for surgeries.
What Is Dry Needling
Dry needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. Dry needling or intramuscular stimulation is a technique that Dr Chan Gunn developed. Dry needling is a beneficial method to relax overactive muscles.
In simple terms, the treatment involves the needling of a muscle’s trigger points without injecting any substance. Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles are the basis of dry needling. It should not be confused with the Traditional Chinese Medicine technique of acupuncture. However, since both dry needling and acupuncture utilise the same filament needles, the confusion is understandable.
In his IMS approach, Dr Chan Gunn and Dr Fischer, in his segmental approach to Dry Needling, strongly advocate the importance of clearing trigger points in both peripheral and spinal areas.
Dry needling trained health practitioners use dry needling daily for the treatment of muscular pain and dysfunction.
Don’t Miss: What Mattress Type Is Best
What Is The Best Pillow Positioning For Shoulder Pain
If you experience chronic shoulder pain, its entirely possible that no sleep position will feel totally comfortable. However, certain angles and pillow configurations may reduce some types of shoulder pain better than others, depending on specific condition and symptoms. Four useful pillow positioning arrangements are outlined below:
Side with Pillow in Armpit: A good rule of thumb for side sleepers with pain in one shoulder is to avoid lying on the affected side. With the sore shoulder upright, place one pillow under that shoulders armpit, another between the legs, and cuddle with a third pressed against your stomach. With a fourth pillow beneath your head, this configuration should promote even spinal alignment and help alleviate your shoulder pain.
Back with Pillow in Armpit: Since back sleeping promotes even spinal alignment without putting added pressure on either shoulder, this is often the best position for people with shoulder pain. If you notice soreness or stiffness in one or both shoulders, try placing a pillow in the armpit beneath the shoulder.
Side with Pillow Between Knees: Often the chosen pillow position for pregnant women, a pillow between the knees can improve spinal alignment for side sleepers by reducing pressure in the lower back and hips.
How Do You Relieve Rotator Cuff Pain At Night
Enlisting the help of a rotator cuff pillow, such as MedClines Shoulder Relief System is one of the most effective ways to relieve rotator cuff pain at night. Other helpful treatment tips include:
- Icing for 15-20 minutes every 4-6 hours directly after injury
- Taking NSAIDs, such as, ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin as needed
- Doing shoulder-strengthening and stretching exercises
Recommended Reading: What Is The Width Of A King Size Mattress
Wrist Rotation Exercise And How To Do
This is one of the most effective exercises for getting rid of brachial plexus injury. All you need is to bend your elbow 90 degrees and hold your hand with your palm facing downwards.
Then you need to rotate your wrist in a circular motion. This will strengthen your muscles, and it will also help you keep your arm in position for a longer time.
It is important to know that doing this exercise correctly is essential. First, you need to make sure that you are holding your arm correctly. If you are not, you might get hurt. You should make sure that your elbow is bent at a 90-degree angle for starters.
The second thing you need to do is hold your hand with your palm facing down. If you have your hand in the correct way, your writing should be on your forearm, not your bicep. The third thing you need to do is rotate your wrist in a circular motion.
If you rotate your wrist upward, you will get stronger, but if you rotate it downward, you will weaken your muscles.
Benefits of wrist rotation exercise:
- it will help you to improve your posture
- it will help you to get stronger
- it will help you to reduce your shoulder pain
- it will help you to get flexible
Stretching Helps Restore The Brachial Plexus To Normal Function
Stretching exercises, practiced properly so that the limitations of injured tissues are respected, can also be extremely helpful in overcoming the symptoms of Thoracic outlet Syndrome.
Obviously, stretching all areas the brachial plexus passes through is very important. Stretching neck, chest, and shoulder muscles, including those that pass through the armpits, will help reduce the adhesions that are tugging on the brachial plexus.
Complete instructions on stretching within the limits of damaged tissue, along with the very best stretches to reach all the areas of the body affected by TOS are included in the Thoracic Outlet Self Care Toolkit.
Read Also: Do Any Stores Sell Purple Mattress
Best Side Sleeping Positions
Side sleeping is another way to avoid back and neck pain while drifting off to dreamland. You should place a pillow under your head, put a back pillow behind you, and hold onto a pillow for optimal support. This position is helpful for individuals who snore or have sleep apnea as it helps keep your airway open. You can also choose to stretch out your legs and place a pillow between your knees to encourage your spine into a neutral position.
Best Back Sleeping Positions
The first tip for sleeping better is to remember to use your pillows. If you are a back sleeper, place a pillow underneath your knees for additional support. This helps reduce spinal extension, also known as putting the spine into a backwards position.
Place a thin pillow underneath your head to keep your head in a neutral position. Be wary of large pillows with lots of foam and cushion as they put your head and neck out of alignment and can tweak your neck.
For additional support, you can also place two pillows on either side of you to rest your arms on for extra comfort.
Read Also: Does Ashley Furniture Remove Old Mattress
How Are Brachial Plexus Injuries Diagnosed
A health care provider will examine the hand and arm and test for sensation and function to help diagnose a brachial plexus injury.
These are other diagnostic tests often used:
- An X-ray of the neck and shoulder area to identify fractures or other injuries to the bone and dense tissues around the nerves of the brachial plexus.
- Imaging tests, such as MRI or a CT scan, during which contrast dye may be injected to show the injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus.
- Tests that use needle electrodes to determine nerve function and electrical activity, including a nerve conduction study and electromyogram.
These tests may be repeated every few weeks or months to allow your doctor to monitor your progress.
Best For A Water Pillow: The Mediflow Fiber Water Pillow
This pillow consists of a sealed water pouch and a layer of resilient polyester fiber.
The maker of this product highlights that this is a unique design. The water within the pillow shifts to accommodate the sleepers position, and a person can adjust the amount of water to adjust its firmness.
The company also claims that its water-based technology has undergone clinical research to show that it reduces neck pain and improves overall sleep quality.
Price: The Mediflow Fiber Water Pillow has a list price of around $70.
Below are some common questions and answers about pillows for shoulder pain.
You May Like: Is Foam Mattress Good For Health
Dreamcloud Best Rest Pillow
Finding the right pillow for your sleeping position is crucial no matter what, but its especially important when youre trying to prevent or alleviate pain. For back sleepers experiencing shoulder pain, the DreamCloud Best Rest Pillow is a great choice. Its essentially a large block of memory foam with a bouncy and responsive feel. So you should get pressure relief without excessive sinkage, all the while feeling supported. This balanced feel is ideal for alleviating shoulder pain for these sleepers.
Types Of Brachial Plexus Surgery
The goal of brachial plexus surgery is to relieve your pain and restore sensation and motor function to your shoulder, arm and hand. Surgical approaches consider the type, location and extent of nerve injury, as well as your overall health and the impact of injury on your ability to work and quality of life.
Procedures your surgeon might recommend include:
Also Check: How Firm Is A Nectar Mattress
Choose The Right Pillow For Proper Support While Sleeping
Tips From Sharon
For side sleepers, your arm can crush the brachial plexus at the front of the shoulder when you place it in front of your body as you sleep. To prevent this, take two polyester filled pillows and stuff them both into a single pillowcase. Place this large, round, overstuffed pillow in front of your body and drape your arm over it as you sleep. This keeps the area at the front of the shoulder open, preventing irritation to the brachial plexus.
It is very important to make sure that the pillow you use under your head is the correct size and thickness for your body.
When you lie on your side, there will be some collapsing of the shoulders as your body weight sinks into the mattress. The pillow you choose should fill up the remaining space between the mattress and your head and should provide enough support to cradle the weight of your head without causing your neck to tilt in any direction.
Look for a pillow that will support the weight of your head and keep your spine in straight alignment.
Injury To The Medial Cord:
Cause:dislocation of the humerus at the subcoracoid region.
Nerves involved:Ulnar, Medial root of median
Muscles paralyzed:ulnar nerve supplied all the muscles.The median nerve supplied five muscles of the hand.
Deformity and disability:loss of sensation on the ulnar side of the hand and forearm.trophic changes and vasomotor changes as a bone.
Don’t Miss: Do You Need A Mattress And Box Spring
Best For A Cervical Pillow: Zamat Adjustable Cervical Memory Foam Pillow
This cervical pillow contains CertiPUR-US memory foam and may help ease neck and shoulder pain.
People can adjust the height of this pillow to suit different sleeping styles. Its maker claims that this pillow will rebound into its original shape after each sleep.
Price: The ZAMAT Adjustable Cervical Memory Foam Pillow has a list price of around $56.
What Is The Brachial Plexus
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that stems from nerve roots in the cervical and upper trunk sections of the spinal cord , creating a network that connects to the nerves in the arm. These nerves control the motions of your wrists, hands and arms, allowing you to raise your arm, type on your keyboard or throw a baseball.
The brachial plexus nerves extend to the skin and are sensory, too. For instance, they let you know that the pan you just grabbed with your hand is too hot to hold.
The anatomy of the brachial plexus. Nerves rooted in the neck extend through the shoulders and down the arms.
Don’t Miss: What Mattress Is Best For Shoulder Pain
Why We Love The Winkbeds Adjust
- Its easy to modify. Just unzip the pillow, then add, remove, or adjust the fill to your preferences.
- It comes with a 100% washable cover thats also designed for breathability.
- The WinkBeds Adjust-a-Cube is Made In the USA.
Price: $89$119, non-refundable and does not include a trial period.
Our full WinkBeds Adjust-a-Cube review is coming soon!
With a shredded Talalay latex fill, sleepers should feel cool and supported on the WinkBeds Adjust-a-Cube Pillow. As an adjustable pillow, sleepers can customize the loft so it suits their personal needs.
Targeted Muscle Strengthening & Other Treatments
Home strengthening exercises focused on the shoulder and upper limb can often include resistance bands and may be done laying on the back , belly to eliminate gravity and better support the affected limb as muscle strength improves. Based on the discretion of your therapist your home program may also include electrical stimulation that can be performed at home after basic instructions. Mitts or other constraints can be used on the unaffected limb to promote the use of the affected one . In addition to strengthening weak muscles, mirrors can be used to reflect movements of the unaffected limb onto the affected one, tricking the eye and brain into seeing normal function on the affected side .
Read Also: What Is A Gel Foam Mattress
What Is A Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus can be injured in many different ways from pressure, stress or being stretched too far. The nerves may also be cut or damaged by cancer or radiation treatment. Sometimes, brachial plexus injuries happen to babies during birth.
Brachial plexus injuries cut off all or parts of the communication between the spinal cord and the arm, wrist and hand. This may mean that you cant use your arm or hand. Often, brachial plexus injuries also result in total loss of sensation in the area.
The severity of a brachial plexus injury varies, depending on the part of the nerve that is injured and the extent of the injury. In some people, function and feeling returns to normal, while others may have lifelong disabilities because they cant use or feel a part of their arm.
Getting Ready For Brachial Plexus Surgery
Before recommending surgery, the surgeon needs to understand which nerves are affected and the injurys location and severity. If you need brachial plexus surgery, a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and neurologists will work with you to determine the best treatment approach based on the injury and your treatment goals.
The surgeon takes an in-depth history, noting your general health and details on when and how the injury happened. The surgeon will ask you about your symptoms and how they impact your work, daily activities and quality of life.
Details about weakness or paralysis, loss of sensation, and the quality of pain can provide important diagnostic clues on the location and severity of injury to the brachial plexus nerves.
During a physical examination, the surgeon will compare motor function, sensation and pain in the affected limb to your unaffected side. The surgeon may use video to record part of the exam so he or she can refer to it during surgical planning.
Imaging studies help the surgeon determine the extent and location of the injury and to plan surgery accordingly. Ultrasound and MRI show damaged nerves and soft tissue. Computerized tomography and X-rays reveal broken bones in the neck, shoulder or arm. Arteriography identifies damaged blood vessels.
Recommended Reading: Where To Buy A 3 4 Size Mattress
Bracing To Help Protect Joints Or Provide Functional Support
Weakness of the shoulder muscles can lead to the unsupported weight of the arm slowly pulling down on the shoulder causing partial dislocation . Proper support of the arm during daily activities and at bedtime can lead to less pain. A custom or off-the-shelf brace called an orthosis may be prescribed for your use to avoid contracture of the fingers, thumb, wrist or elbow. Some orthoses are to be used specifically at night time to keep the limb in a certain position or they can be used during the day to help complete activities.
Break The Habit Of Unconsciously Raising Your Shoulders
Tips From Sharon
One of the easiest and most effective ways I have found to break the habit of unconsciously raising your shoulders is with The Tape Trick. Practice this simple process for one week and see the difference it makes!
Another common and destructive habit that many people with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome develop is to raise their shoulders unconsciously.
This pattern is often repeated hundreds of times throughout the day as a result of resting arms on armrests that are too high, resting the hands on the hips, carrying infants or small children, raising shoulders to hold a shoulder purse or computer bag on one shoulder, etc.
See how many of these patterns you can begin to recognize in your own life.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is one of the most challenging repetitive strain injuries. If you realize from the beginning that it will take a real concerted effort on your part to change posture habits, stretch the appropriate areas that are associated with symptoms, and correct the other personal habits that lead to compression of the brachial plexus, then you can certainly succeed in improving the symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Dont give up! You can make it happen!
Discover more about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome by checking out these additional sections:
Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?
Read Also: Is A Plush Mattress Soft
Neck Pain Stiffness Or Headaches Maybe It’s Not Your Pillow
A good night’s sleep is dependent on a healthy sleeping position and a good pillow. A quality pillow will support your head in natural alignment with your spine.
Sometimes there is simply no pillow in the world that is best for you.
If you have a neck injury, pain or stiffness, you may not have the available pain-free range of neck motion to have a comfortable, pain-free sleep. The solution on this occasion is to have your neck professionally assessed and treated. Often just one quality treatment of your neck may solve years of sleeping difficulties.