Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Do your hands always fall asleep? Are your hands always cold? Is it waking you up at night?

We are going to talk about one test and three exercises to help with nighttime hand and/or arm tingling.

In this post, we’ll discuss:

  • What Thoracic out let syndrome is
  • How you get thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Chiropractic solutions that cure thoracic outlet syndrome
  • And more

Chiropractic services offer several solutions to help cure your thoracic outlet syndrom as well as preventative techniques to keep it away. If you have arm pain, seeking medical attention at its first sign is smart; you can save yourself from the pain spreading and becoming more intense. Active Release Techniques can be very effective in relieving arm pain. 

If you’re curious about how chiropractic care can benefit your arm pain, read on.


What is thoracic outlet syndrome?


Thoracics outlet syndrome is a painful condition but benign condition involving the nerves and blood vessels running from the neck into the arm, hand and fingers. When muscles in the neck or shoulder are too tight, or if your posture is not optimal for too long, things can get squished. Generally, the body doesn't like it when things get squished and that's when your hands go could or numb.

How did I get Thoracic outlet syndrome?

Unfortunately, the condition can reach people of all ages and lifestyles, but it generally affects those who are over 40 and more active. 

The majority of people who suffer from plantar fasciitis repeatedly use their feet in the same manner or have a foot condition that keeps the foot from adequately supporting them and adds stress to the soft tissue.  

Symptoms of Thoracic outlet syndrome 

Some of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Pain in the arm or hand
  • Pain or numbness and tingling in the arm or hand at night
  • Arm pain or coldness that increases after reaching overhead 

Thoracic outlet syndrome is incredibly common due to the amount of time we spend on the computer or with poor posture. But safe, non-invasive solutions may be all you need to treat the arm's soft tissues and cure the condition. 

Common tests for thoracic outlet syndrome:

Wright’s Test

Stand nice and tall and bring one arm to the side then pull it behind you so that you feel a slight stretch in your chest and shoulder. Extend your wrist or pull the back of your hand towards your forearm.

If this test recreates the coldness or tingling in your hands and/or arm you may have what is called thoracic outlet syndrome. If it does not then look up and away then take a big breath in and hold. The same thing, if your hand or arm gets tingly or cold then it could be thoracic outlet syndrome.


Doorway Stretch

Find a door, put one arm up on the doorway at about 90 degrees with the elbow bent then lean your chest forward. You should feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders. You can also change the angle of your arms to whatever feels the best for you.

Hang out in this position for 30 seconds to a minute. While in this position you can turn your head from side to side and take a couple of big breaths to help deepen that stretch. It should be a nice gentle stretch and not painful.

Ulnar nerve flossing

The ulnar nerve comes out of your neck, goes under a muscle in your chest, under a muscle in your armpit, through a bunch of muscles in your arm all the way down to your pinky and ring finger. If your tingling is primarily in your two little fingers, try this exercise out.

Start with your hand open at your side, bring it up and forward, pinch your thumb and index finger together into a circle, then flip it over and touch your face and look through the little hole you have created. Then return your arm back to your side and repeat that process.

Bent over row

If we've stretched you out, we also have to make you strong. Grab a weight and a bench or chair to place a hand on. Start by bending over from the hips and support your upper body with one hand on a bench or chair. Grab your weight from the ground and pull to your hip while taking your shoulder blade back. Be sure to keep your neck long and neutral throughout this exercise.


The takeaway 

Don’t take risks with your health. If you’re experiencing foot pain, come visit our Centennial chiropractic clinic. Maybe the cause of your discomfort isn’t serious, but wouldn’t you rather know? 

Give that test and those 3 exercises a try. If that doesn't help, give us a call. We are happy to help. Contact us for more information or an evaluation. 

Dr. Andrew  Cuiffo

Dr. Andrew Cuiffo


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