I'm praising God for a small article in Oxygen magazine in Volume 12, Issue 117, Spring 2009 (page 136) about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It said something about it being mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome and asked this question:
Q. What are the most common signs?
A. “Most often, dull pain in arms, and possibly numbness and tingling in hands and fingers. Sometimes arms also feel heavy and weak – like they’re not attached,” Mehaffy says. “A way to differentiate TOS from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is to note the numbness: CTS causes numbness in the thumb, index and/or middle fingers, and sometimes part of the ring finger. But the whole hand? Pinky? Above the wrist? Then it’s likely TOS or another RSI.”
As the article stated, the symptoms can be similar but often more severe the CTS. It says that TOS does not involve "healing" because it's not an injury, per se, but a condition most people create foryears before knowing they have it. Yep, that would be me.
I ended up going to the chiropractor and am slowly improving. This particular condition can take weeks or even months to reverse.
How did I get it? Too much work on the pectorals, plus an old injury which left a small bit of arthritis in my cervical spine. Working out the pectorals hard and overdeveloping them can cause the muscle to pinch on the nerve creating... PAIN.
I've been going to see the doc twice a week for therapy, an evil neck-stretching contraption, a trigger point massage and an adjustment. I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I did have two horrible days after the long weekend - but that was directly related to ingesting sucralose which caused me to retain massive amounts of water which in turn caused pressure on the nerve. Since that has cleared out of my system (no more sugar-free caramel lattes!!!), everything feels better.
This week has been a long over due recovery week. No weights, just yoga and some cardio -- but not excessive cardio. I actually need to do *more* yoga, the doc says it's just what I need to lengthen the muscles and relieve that pressure.
Changes in my workout due to this - no overhead presses, no Arnolds. I'm not sure when I can add those back in. Seated rows, upright rows, those are what the doc ordered. Also, shrugs. I never do shrugs - however, just holding a good heavy weight in my right hand eases the stiffness and pain that comes in the morning.
Great stretches I must do - The Doorway Release: grab the sides of the door way and lean foreward to stretch the pecs. Nice! The Hand against Wall: put the hand against the wall at shoulder height, stretched out, Tilt the head the opposite direction and gently apply pressure with the other hand.