What happens in a wild-fire?
A small fire gets out of control and is unable to be contained. The fire gets so hot that the fire continues to spread, regardless of what fire fighting methods are tried. So...how do you put out a wild-fire? The first step is to contain it. Take away it's fuel. Take away what's continuing to feed it. Then we can start to calm it down and eventually extinguish it.
BUT...and it's a "big but", the fire will stay hot for a while.
Also remember, there is a possibility, a good possibility that your Thoracic Outlet Syndrome symptoms may be stimulated and worsen a little bit at first.
When it comes to inflamed muscles, our bodies are similar to the wild-fire. The muscle gets caught in a cycle. It chronically contracts and gets inflamed. The spasm and inflammation cause the muscle to go into pain, which creates more spasm and like the old TV commercial, and so on and so on and so on. Hence the names the "pain-spasm cycle".
These exercises will break the cycle and start the healing process.
However, if you have had these muscles tight and inflamed for years (which is probably the case, because it usually takes that long to get thoracic outlet symptoms) then it will take a some time to "contain the fire".
But as soon as your muscles quiet down, the results get much quicker.
We also have to take away the "fuel" and that is done by doing your daily activities in a different way.
Most of the following exercises are exercises that I have been using in my practice for years to help patients with all kinds of neck and shoulder related issues. They are designed to start stretching all the muscles of your neck and shoulders.
The first stretch is related to what I believe to be one of the most important discussions that we can have in treating Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and that is breathing. I know what you're saying.
"Yeah, right, who cares about breathing. I breathe all day. How can that help"!
I will prove it. Sit back in a comfortable straight back chair, roll your shoulders back a little bit and take a deep breath. Picture bringing the air up into your lungs above where your heart lies. This will stretch the upper rib cage. It's like blowing up a balloon while it's in a small plastic bag. The balloon will stretch the bag as it inflates. Try it! I mean it...really try it!
Ahhh..doesn't that feel good.
You're stretching all the muscles in the chest area. If you want to know more about breath keep returning to our site and we will soon have a page about proper breathing. In our Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Home Relief System
we will give you the steps to proper advanced breathing techniques that will help you with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Just sign up in the link the left and we will send you your personalized set of basic TOS Exercises to help start the process of getting you to feel better again and taking control of your body again.