Do friends comment to you that your hands are always cold? Do you get that ‘pins and needles’ feeling in your arms or hands? These are just two of the common symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Some people with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome complain that their arms go to sleep when held in the same position for concentrated periods of time, particularly when driving. Other sufferers report that their hands are asleep when they wake up in the morning and need to be shaken to get the blood circulating.

All these symptoms are common with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. These symptoms are typically associated with people who are angry or upset and hold tension in their pectoralis major and minor muscles, the chest muscles. We also observe that their shoulders tend to roll inward.

“My shoulders always feel tight” is a common complaint too. This is caused by upper back tension and is secondary to the chest tension.

Many patients we see have learned to live with this chronic pain because they don’t realize treatment is available. Unfortunately doctors tell patients to get some exercise to relieve the pain but when they exercise their pectoralis muscles, the situation is aggravated.

Patients who exercise and have rounded shoulders are told to work on their upper back muscles to compensate for the roll. This is just the opposite of what they should be doing. They need to relax their chest muscles, not tighten more muscles.

There is treatment available. It involves Pressure Plus Motion exercises. The goal is to relax the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles. Once they are relaxed, the symptoms, cold extremities, arms and hands going to sleep, should disappear.

How do you get treatment? My first suggestion, for mild cases, is to refer to pages 11 and 12 in my book, How to Keep Chiropractors off Your Back. Here you will find Pressure Plus Motion exercises designed specifically to alleviate Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. If after doing these exercises the numbness and ‘pins and needles’ feeling in your arms and hands persists, please call the office for an appointment.

One final note. Your body is always ‘talking’ to you. If you don’t listen, it will talk louder.


If you belong to a service club, church or organization that needs dynamic speaker for an event or seminar, Dr. Nunez is available to speak about the topics of health and how to keep chiropractor off your back. Please call the office at 818-247-4411.


This blog is meant to provide information on current news and general information. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, nor is any doctor-client relationship established by its posting on this website. If you are facing a situation that requires medical assistance, please consult your physician.