Thoracic outlet syndrome causes pain in the shoulders and neck. You may also feel tingling in your hands and fingers. The pain can increase over time without any treatment. If the condition is not treated, the problem will become much worse. Below is some information about how physical therapy can help you with your pain.
Physical Therapy Treatment Options
There are many different types of treatment options the doctor will suggest for you. One type of treatment is sending you to a physical therapist. If so, the physical therapist will use different methods of helping you with your pain and posture, five of which are listed below.
During manual therapy, the physical therapist will help increase the range of motion in your shoulder. The physical therapist will do this by pressing their hands the affected area and massaging. They will do this as forcefully as you can stand. Manual therapy is often used along with other physical therapy techniques, modalities, and exercises.
The physical therapist will work with you if you have bad posture. This is important, as the right posture will decrease the amount of pressure you feel in your shoulder and neck area, which will then decrease your pain. The physical therapist will give you different strengthening exercises to do if they find you have bad posture.
Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) is a device that uses low voltage electric current to relieve your pain. A TENS unit is used, which is a small battery-operated device. The TENS unit has several electrodes attached to it, and the therapist will place each electrode onto different areas of the affected area of your skin. The device is turned on and the electric current comes through the electrodes onto your skin. How long the electrodes will stay on your skin depends on your particular symptoms.
It is important that you have flexibility and strength in order to maintain proper posture, and this can be accomplished through physical therapy. The physical therapist will have you do strengthening exercises during your session. They will also likely ask you to do these exercises at home
Kinesio taping is a method used to facilitate your body's natural healing process. It also provides you with stability and support to your joints and muscles without restricting the range of motion. Kinesio tape can also help give you pain relief, reduce swelling, and improve your lymph function. Pieces of tape are attached to your skin and left on for a certain amount of time.
Along with these treatments, the physical therapist will work closely with your doctor to determine what will work best for you.
Your physical therapist can give you much more information about these treatments and exactly how they work.