Treatment of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome with Herbal Remedies
The thoracic outlet region is located in the lower part of the neck, begins from above as well as behind the clavicle, extending all the way to the upper part of the arm. The thoracic outlet is found next to the large muscles running vertically to the neck known as the sternocleidomastoid muscle and in front, there is a muscle that is running back to the neck called the trapezius muscle. While the lower portion of the thoracic outlet extending behind the clavicle is known as the pectoralis muscle. Through the Thoracic outlet, there are multiple nerves as well as vessels passing through it and supplying the shoulder as well as arm. These nerves are together known as Brachial plexus controlling the muscles and also providing sensation. The compression of these arteries lead results in pain and a condition called Thoracic outlet syndrome
What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
It is a disorder that basically causes the compression of blood vessels and nerves present in the spaces between the collarbone and first rib. This causes severe pain in the shoulder along with numbness in the fingers. It is named after the thoracic outlet present between the lower neck and upper chest where most of the blood vessels, as well as nerves, are located. One of the common causes for the syndrome is repetitive injury, car accidents, and certain types of defects. The term Thoracic Outlet Syndrome was first originated in 1965 by RM Peet.
- Incidence:- 1 to 2 percent
- Ages:- mostly seen in patients between the ages of 20 to 50 years
- Sex:- Females are most likely to suffer from Thoracic outlet syndrome as compared to others.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
Here are the common clinical features that are seen in the syndrome depending on the type which includes
1. Vascular thoracic outlet syndrome
It is seen in the condition where veins of the lower neck and upper chest are damaged. This condition is mostly developed after excessive exercise and common signs seen are
- swelling in the fingers, arms and hands
- heaviness as well as weakness in the arms and neck.
2. Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome
This condition is related to the abnormality present in the soft as well as bony tissue in the region of the lower neck. This causes compression as well as irritation of the brachial plexus which is responsible for sensory and motor function. This can result in symptoms like
- Numbness and weakness of the hand.
- The size of the muscles is decreased
- Sensations like tingling, numbness, and pricking.
3. Arterial thoracic outlet syndrome
It is one of the least common types and also the serious one. It is the congenital type meaning present from birth and mostly seen in the lower neck as well as upper chest. Some common signs seen are
- Soreness in the fingers
- Poor circulation of the blood around the arms, hands, and fingers.
- Cold sensation in the fingers as well as arms.
What Causes Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
The main cause for the disease is not known but it is well known that it leads to abnormal compression of the blood vessels. Here are some causes for the compression including
- Poor posture:- Holding the head or dropping the shoulder can result in compression of the thoracic outlet area.
- Anatomical defects:- Congenital defect meaning present from the birth or inherited condition. Abnormal tightening of the fibrous band connecting the spine to the rib.
- Trauma:- History of a car accident resulting in internal changes and compressing the nerves of the thoracic outlet.
- Repetitive activity:- Doing the same action or exercise every day can lead to wearing of the tissue. Activities like typing, lifting, swimming, or playing basketball can also lead to this.
- Pressure on the joints:- Obesity or being overweight will put pressure on the joints or carrying an oversized backpack.
Here are a few factors that increase the chances of developing the disease including
- Sex:- Females are more likely to suffer from the disease as compared to males.
- Age:- Adults between the ages of 20 to 40 years of age.
How Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can be Diagnosed?
Here is the test that can help in diagnosing the disease including
- Physical examination where depression in the shoulder and swelling of the arms.
- Arteriography and venography
- Nerve conduction study
Herbal Treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome By Planet Ayurveda
For the Management of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Planet Ayurveda suggests some of the herbal formulations which are as follows.
- Yograj Guggul
- Boswellia Curcumin
- Aamvatantak Churna
- Vrihat Vatchintamani Ras
- Bone Support
1. Yograj Guggul
It is made from herbs like Guggul (Commiphora mukul), Pippali (Piper longum), Kulanjan (Alpinia galanga) and many more. It will help in providing strength to the body and muscles as well. Yograj Guggul will help in giving all the nourishment needed by the thoracic outlet area. Along with that, it will remove the ailments like pain, stiffness as well as numbness of the bones and muscles.
2. Boswellia Curcumin
It is made from two very excellent herbs including Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) and Curcumin (Curcuma longa). It is very effective in removing swelling from the muscles and increasing movement of the area. This herbal medicine is very good for the patient who suffers from thoracic outlet syndrome.
3. Aamvatantak Churna
This is one of the best Churna for getting rid of the inflammation and stiffness from the joints as well as the muscles. It is made from herbs like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and many more. It is very effective in removing pain and tingling sensation from the affected part.
4. Vrihat Vatchintamani Ras
It is packed with Swarna bhasma, Abhrak bhasma, Loha bhasma, Mukta bhasma and many more. It is very effective in enhancing the movement of muscles as well as bones by improving the circulation of blood vessels and veins.
5. Bone Support
It is made from herbs like Shudh Laksha (Laccifer lacca resin), Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Mukta (Pearl calcium), and many more. It is one of the best ayurvedic combinations for improving the metabolism of the bones and promoting circulation in the muscles. It is very effective in treating any kind of bone or muscle defect.
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This article describes the thoracic outlet disease in detail and its effect on daily life. There are many underlying causes responsible for thoracic outlet disease and above-mentioned ayurvedic herbs are very effective in treating the disease. This will remove the root cause of the disease and make the bones as well as muscles strong.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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