Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you're diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, your doctor or physical therapist will instruct you to do exercises at home to strengthen and support the muscles surrounding your thoracic outlet.
In general, to avoid unnecessary stress on your shoulders and muscles surrounding the thoracic outlet:
- Maintain good posture
- Take frequent breaks at work to move and stretch
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Try applying heat or massaging the painful area
- Avoid carrying heavy bags over your shoulder
- Avoid activities that worsen symptoms, or find ways to adapt activities so they don't cause symptoms
- Create a work area that allows you to keep good posture and doesn't make symptoms worse
- NINDS thoracic outlet syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/thoracic/thoracic.htm. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00336. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Thoracic outlet compression syndromes. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/peripheral_nervous_system_and_motor_unit_disorders/thoracic_outlet_compression_syndromes.html?qt=thoracic%20outlet%20&alt=sh. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome. The Society for Vascular Surgery. http://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/Pages/thoracic-outlet-syndrome.aspx. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Goshima K. Overview of thoracic outlet syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Bromberg MB. Brachial plexus syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 13, 2013.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed May 8, 2013.