Thoracic outlet syndrome(brachial neuralgia) – symptoms, causes and treatment
Thoracic outlet syndrome(brachial neuralgia) – symptoms
One to three hours after falling asleep, there is a sense of pins, needles, numbness, and pain in one or both hands. The discomfort generally wakes the person. There may be wasting in the small muscles in the hands, as well as coldness or swelling. It generally occurs among adults, not children.
The symptoms can eventually include the lower arm, upper arm, and even the shoulder, and are generally worse after a day of heavy lifting.
During the day few symptoms are present, unless heavy lifting occurs.
This is to the shoulder, what sciatica is to the leg. A nerve, leading to the shoulder, is pinched in the spine.But it can also be caused by overworking of the arms, carrying excessively heavy weights, poor posture, and letting the arms and hands get cold at night. More rarely, there may be an abnormality in the seventh cervical rib.
The lower branch of the brachial plexus of nerves exits from the lower cervical vertebrae, then passes underneath the clavicle and on into the arm. If this somehow experiences compression, the nerves to the arm and hand will be affected.
It is best to solve this problem, since it is likely otherwise to gradually keep getting worse. A similar affliction is called the cervical rib syndrome. But it occurs more often in younger people, and produces pain or numbness soon after heavy lifting, wearing a heavy coat, etc. The symptoms occur in the day, not at night.
• Back adjustments by a competent chiropractor may be the solution.
• Keep the hands and arms warm at night, especially if there is a cool draft on the body.
• Improve the diet. A good, nourishing diet which will build the nerves and bones is important. Raw green vegetables are needed, along with daily vitamin/mineral supplements. A diet similar to that used in treating arthritis (which see) is helpful.
• Maintain an ongoing exercise program, to strengthen the muscles of the shoulders and arms and improve the posture: arm lifts, neck exercises, shoulder shrugs, horizontal upper trunk push-ups, etc. Also helpful: swimming, ball throwing, and similar activities.
• Avoid heavy lifting. When you have to lift, shrug first, and remain in a semi-shrugged position while you lift. This will ward off nerve compression.