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Radiculopathy/Nerve Entrapments/Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Nerve-EntrapmentsNerve Entrapment is a condition in which the nerve passing through confined spaces are pressed upon. Radiculopathy is a term used to describe a nerve not functioning properly. The Nerve entrapment manifests with pain of the nerves or with a loss of function in the muscles they innervate (supply). There are several types of nerve entrapment syndrome, commonly known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome.

Causes of Nerve Entrapment

Nerve Entrapment are generally caused by repetitive stress and/or activities.

Signs and symptoms of Nerve Entrapment
  • Sensation of prickling
  • Numbness
  • Burning or stabbing pain
Treatment of Nerve Entrapment
  • Treatment will initially focus on reducing the compression of the nerve to help reduce the symptoms, specifically pain and swelling. Once compression is eased circulation will improve and exercises can be used to stabilize the muscles surrounding the nerve structures.


RadiculopathyRadiculopathy is any disease of spinal roots and spinal nerves. Radiculopathy is characterized by pain that seems to radiate from the spine and extending outward to cause symptoms away from the source of spinal nerve root irritation. The result can be pain or radiating pain, numbness or difficulty controlling specific muscles.

Causes of Radiculopathy
  • Can be inflamed nerves
  • Pinched or compressed nerve
  • Lack of vascular flow (insufficient blood flow)

There are several types of radiculopathy such as lumbar radiculopathy (may refer pain as sciatica), cervical radiculopathy, thoracic radiculopathy and piriformis syndrome.

Treatment for Radiculopathy
  • The treatment for radiculopathy would primarily focus on reducing the compression of the nerve. Once compression has been alleviated symptoms should diminish and pain should be reduced. This should also help improve nerve root function. Exercise to strengthen affected muscles or to help correct poor posture that may have contributed to the nerve compression can be helpful.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Treatment-of-ThoracicThoracic Outlet Syndrome is a condition that involves the compression of the brachial plexus (the nerves of the neck/shoulder) and the accompanying artery between muscles of the neck, close to the shoulder or clavicle. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can present and overlap other conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Signs and Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Tingling or pain may refer down the arm
  • Weakness in muscles that are supplied by the compressed nerve
  • Decreased sensory reception
  • Disturbance of motor skills and control of muscles
Causes of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Internal bony compression possible from improper crutch use
  • Prolonged poor positioning
  • Poor posture
  • Trauma joint sublaxation (dislocation)
  • Systemic nerve and metabolic disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism
Treatment of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome TreatmentTreatment would focus on removing or reducing the compression of the affected nerve. By reducing or removing the compression of the nerve the symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome such as pain, sensory reception and muscle control should all improve. Reduced pain, improved sensory reception and improved muscle control are a result. Exercises to strengthen postural muscles and education regarding positioning which may have affected the condition.

If you have any questions about Radiculopathy, Nerve Entrapments or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome contact our staff at Dynamic Physiotherapy.

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