Stretching the Rhomboids - Dr. Jonathan Kuttner
Functional TOS tends to respond very well to trigger point therapy and various self-help techniques
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is one of a group of conditions that cause pain into the arm hand and fingers.
Not everyone is too aware of TOS and it's often something that takes a while to be correctly diagnosed.
Anyone who has suffered from TOS will know that the symptoms can be disturbing and debilitating.
Functional TOS and Trigger Points
There are generally two types of TOS – one is an unmistakable blockage pressure (organic) to the nerves or blood supply and the other is a functional or temporary pressure issue.
This functional group tends to respond very well to trigger point therapy and various self-help techniques.
This is because functional TOS results from a combination of poor rib mechanics and tight muscles that cause pressure on the neurovascular structures (sometimes called a myogenic plexopathy).
The exercises below are commonly prescribed to clients who we are treating for functional TOS.
These exercises do not require any specialized equipment and should be easy for most people to perform at home.
If you haven't exercised for a while, or have any injury, make sure to consult with a suitably qualified healthcare professional before undertaking any of these exercises.
Begin by lying on your stomach with your arms by your side
Tighten your rhomboids by squeezing your shoulder blades together
Slowly lift your arms and chest off the ground, keeping your neck straight
Hold for 2 seconds at the top of the movement and then slowly return to the starting position
The exercise may be performed with palms facing up or down
Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions, once a day provided the exercise is pain free
Place your hand over your ear, with your elbow still facing forward
Gently pull your elbow backwards until you feel you have reached the end
You may feel a good stretch, ache or even a few pins and needles or tingles, which is expected
Bring the elbow forward again
Bring the arm down
Repeat 10 times each side, twice daily
Upper Trapezius Stretch
Turn your head 45 degrees to the right
Reach over the top of your head with your right hand and cradle the back of your head with your fingers
Gently pull your head toward your right shoulder, and hold for a count of 20-30
Repeat on the left side using your left hand
Repeat 3 times each side, twice daily
Lay down on all fours
Place one hand behind the back
While the opposite hand remains on the floor ...
Rotate the upper body (side that the arm is behind the back) with the elbow pointing to the sky as far as possible
Return to start position
Repeat 5-10 times each side, twice daily
Recommended Trigger Point Therapy Courses:
This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
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