Nerve Slide Exercises for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Las Vegas Informer

Perform nerve slide motion exercises to help eliminate the sources and lessen the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). Combat this potentially debilitating condition with the consistent utilization of nerve slide exercises.

Nerve slides are non-exertion, non-resistance motion exercises used to treat upper extremity nerve impingement syndromes caused by scar tissue encasement. Thoracic outlet syndrome stems from impingement on a network of nerves called the brachial plexus.

Anatomy: The brachial plexus is an intricate network of nerves that transmits nerve signals between the spinal cord and upper extremity. The brachial plexus is located in the anterior neck and outer chest.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: The location of the plexus leaves it susceptible to impingement in three locations: Between the muscles on the side of the neck, underneath the collar bone and beneath the pectoralis minor muscle in the upper chest.

Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome appear in the neck, shoulder, arm, hand and fingers. The most common symptom of TOS is numbness and/or tingling in the hands. Other symptoms of TOS may include deep seated dull achy pain, sharp shooting shock-like pain, weakness, burning, fatigue, muscle atrophy, a weak pulse throughout the arm, paleness in the hands, arm heaviness, coldness in the limb and lack of grip strength. Symptoms may have an insidious onset or may begin abruptly.

If TOS-like symptoms begin see a medical professional immediately to rule out serious pathology.

Nerve Slides: Nerve slides, or nerve glides, are non-resistance, non-exertion motion exercises designed to help prevent scar tissue encasement of nerves. When a nerve is impinged the surrounding tissues do not slide over the nerve correctly. This leads to scar tissue formation and multiple locations of nerve impingement. Nerve slides for the brachial plexus help lessen current symptoms and prevent further symptoms by re-establishing correct motion between the muscles surrounding the nerves.

Nerves are positioned between and through muscles on their course from the spinal cord to their destination. The nerves in the upper extremity can become impinged in numerous locations along their course.

As nerves run between the muscles, the muscles and nerves slide smoothly over each other. When the nerve is impinged this fluid sliding motion ceases to exist as scar tissue formation begins to encase the nerve to the surrounding tissues at multiple locations. The gentle sliding motion of nerve slide exercises re-establishes correct motion between the nerves and surrounding muscles by decreasing the scar tissue formation that traps the nerve.

Execute nerve slides every day throughout the day for best results. Slides can be used for preventive measures, new symptoms and chronic cases.

Performing nerve slides during breaks at the computer may be effective in preventing upper extremity nerve entrapment. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to TOS.

Utilizing nerve slides as self-treatment when symptoms first appear may help lessen symptoms and prevent further damage by decreasing the areas and levels of scar tissues formation.

Executing nerve slides in long standing cases of TOS may be effective due to the reduction of pressure at multiple areas of nerve encasement.

Nerve slide exercises work by moving the limb from a position where the nerve is on a short path to a position where the nerve is on a long path. Nerve slides are simple, easy exercises which should be executed slowly with precision through a pain-free range of motion.

Start at an appropriate number of repetitions for you and gradually increase until you can easily perform ten repetitions of each exercise. If pain or symptoms are elicited or increased, reduce the number or repetitions or switch to another nerve slide exercise.

Brachial Plexus Nerve Slide #1: Stand in good posture. Tilt your head to one side. Hold your upper arm by your side and bend your elbow. Make a light fist and tuck it under your chin. Straighten your elbow and fingers. Raise your arm out to the side until it is parallel to the floor and your palm faces the floor. Bend your wrist upward toward the ceiling and splay your fingers. Reach your arm backward as far as possible and bend your head to the opposite side.

Brachial Plexus Nerve Slide #2: Stand up straight with your elbow bent to ninety degrees and your palm facing upward. Flex your wrist toward you and tilt your head in the direction of the shoulder of the bent arm. Un-tilt your head and straighten your elbow and wrist until your arm hangs by your side. Raise your arm to shoulder height and slightly behind you. Turn your shoulder so your palm faces skyward. Tilt your head toward your raised shoulder and bend your wrist downward. Tilt your head away from your raised arm and simultaneously bend your wrist upward.

Nerve slides are simple, effective self-treatment exercises used to decrease the source and symptoms of upper extremity nerve impingement. Restore proper nerve flow by re-establishing fluid motion between the nerves and muscles with the use of nerve slide exercises.

Utilize nerve slide exercises along with chiropractic care, stretching, massage and yoga to treat TOS. Combine these treatments with proper work station ergonomics, frequent breaks from static positions, proper nutrition and intelligent supplementation strategies to prevent and lessen scar tissue encasement. Implement nerve slide exercises to eliminate the source and alleviate the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Dr_Donald_A_Ozello_thumb_medium150_Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor at Championship Chiropractic. 2595 S. Cimarron Rd, Suite #100, Las Vegas, NV 89117.  His web address is Championship Chiropractic. He can be contacted at (702) 286-9040

Dr. Donald A. Ozello’s mission is to educate and inspire others to live healthier, fitter, more functional lives.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC proudly handles Standard Process Supplements and Foot Levelers Orthotics.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC writes a weekly health, fitness, exercise and nutrition column for The Las Vegas Informer. His is published in OnFitness MagazineLivestrong.comSpineUniverse.comand

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is an award-winning public speaker. He has spoken to numerous groups on the importance of health, fitness, exercise, ergonomics, nutrition and injury prevention.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is a fitness enthusiast. Functional kettlebell training, bike riding and running are his favorite forms of exercise.

Before pursuing his career in Chiropractic, Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Bremerton, SSN 698.

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One Response to Nerve Slide Exercises for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

  1. Thank you for this video!! I suffer with thoracic syndrome and left my wonderful chiropractor who was helping me immensely when I moved to Vegas. I have become frustrated with the chiropractic care here…most tell me to see a neuro doctor, which I understand, but I know chiropractic care can help, if you have the right doctor.

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