Long Thoracic Nerve

Let’s talk about this nerve.

As a chiropractor, I am always interested in ways that nerves can get irritated or injured.

The Long Thoracic Nerve is a nerve that innervates, among other things, a muscle called the Serratus Anterior muscle. The job of that muscle is to help stabilize the shoulder blade (the scapula) and guide it’s movement. If this nerve is irritated or otherwise dysfunctional then you will have a disorder of shoulder blade movement, and that can become painful. Without normal biomechanics you will eventually experience pain. When things don’t work right, soon enough it hurts.

Check the image to see that this nerve can be irritated at the area of the clavicle or the side of the chest/armpit.

Sometimes this nerve is hurt by stretch (for example, falling so that your head is bent to the side as you land, or if something or someone pulls your head suddenly) or by compression (by something hitting the clavicle area). Other times it is hurt during a surgery or with repetitive overhead activity. There are many ways this poor nerve can be hurt.

When it is hurt, the shoulder blade may “wing”. It won’t stick to the back ribs as well as it should. And since the shoulder blade is the structure that your arm bone actually attaches to, if the long thoracic nerve is funky then you will get an arm problem soon enough. You can also feel the effects of this nerve being irritated in the side of the chest or the armpit area.

If you think this is your problem, come in for a check. We will feel around, see how the serratus anterior is working, and palpate where this nerve should be. Should we think we can help, then we will tell you and lay out some sort of plan. Sometimes the nerve is irritated at the neck where it comes off the spine, sometimes it is near the clavicle in the muscles with there, and sometimes it’s not even this nerve at all.

Call today to see if we can help.

The ‘Oh No!’ Face

Uh-oh. Now you did it.

That feeling when you just did something wrong – a sharp pain shot across your back or down your butt. You freeze in place. You feel like your next movement will cause the same pain to happen again. So you just freeze in place and wait for a minute, anticipating another shot of agony.

It’s hard to say with any certainty exactly what went wrong. It’s a different set of possibilities for every person and every circumstance. No matter what went wrong it is clear that you are on the edge of either your pain fading away into the background or exploding into the forefront. You have the unnerving feeling that this very pain can strike at any time.

It’s pain like this that leads a lot of otherwise healthy adults to engage in “activity avoidance”, which is the habitual non-enjoyment of life resulting from not doing the things you used to love to do because you are consumed with anxiety over possibly injuring yourself severely. To be fair, it is smart to want to avoid pain and injury. But you still need to remain active and use your body as fully as possible every day or else you are going to become more susceptible to having more and more back pain. It’s an unfortunate fact for you that exercising may cause injury but also that not exercising will cause de-conditioning and therefore eventual pain. If the case is that you felt while working on top of an uneven surface, you should contact a lawyer to settle a slip and fall claim and cover your medical expenses.

Check out this graphic:

Please note that this graphic says “Spinal Cord Injury” and “Muscle Paralysis”…you should substitute the words “Spine Injury” and “Muscle Weakness” into there to make it more appropriate to your probably level of injury. As you can appreciate the more you let your body deteriorate the more you will experience a deterioration in your general health.

Every week or month you spend in that lifestyle is just another shovel of dirt as you dig a hole into sickness and pain.

Wow, that sounded dire, didn’t it? Yeah, it did. And not to sound morose or fatalistic, but you truly should take your physical health very seriously. You only have one body. Surgery can help, sometimes, and doesn’t help other times. You can go get surgery and find out if you want to roll those dice. Probably not a great idea. Your body was issued to you with no warranty. Replacement parts aren’t anything like the originals.

Sheesh, this post is all DOOM and GLOOM, isn’t it? Not totally, because I’m about to type out the part where I offer hope and implore you to try chiropractic.

Here it goes:

We see patients walking in, or stumbling or shuffling in, all the time. We hear people relate the story of their injury on a daily basis, and this post and your pain is something we see all the time. Not every case ends with the patient pain-free and feeling 100%, but we have a decent enough success rate that you should definitely consider trying us out before moving on to more invasive or non-reversible methods. If you think you want to give us a call then do it now and we’ll take down your information and get you scheduled.

Your problem may take 1 visit to get you feeling almost normal again. Or it may take 10 or 20. There’s really no way to know other then to come in and get examined and get adjusted and found out. On the path to a solution you should generally go from least-invasive and least-medicated and then move on to more and more involved treatments and therapies. Chiropractic is a great place to start. If yours is a case we think we can help, we will try our hardest. If yours is one requiring an MRI or a referral to a different kind of provider, we will prescribe the MRI or send you to the other provider.

Are You Bent Sideways at the Waist?

It’s not at all uncommon for a new client to walk in our door looking like they feel horrible. People limp into our office, hunch into our office, lurch into our office, and have even literally crawled into our office. People often show up with someone literally holding them up.

Usually, they leave walking upright.

    When your lower back has this problem people call it all different names. We have patients say things like:

  • “My back went out”
  • “My back is in spasm”
  • “I slipped out of alignment”
  • “I threw my hip out”
  • “I hate life right now”
  • “OMG do I need surgery?!?!”

The client is saying the same thing in most instances – basically, they have intense lower back pain or leg pain and they can’t stand up straight. Something went very wrong.

Look Painful
I tried to pick up the pen I dropped and then BAM!

We want to first let you know that we understand how this feels. We are humans, too. Back pain like yours is a nearly universal dilemma, nearly every person will experience at least one episode of crippling lower back pain at some point in there lives. Many people will endure numerous such painful times in their lives. Many of them will be driven to spinal surgery or painkillers.

At Park Bench Chiropractic in beautiful Frederick we are really good at figuring out what went wrong to have you bent in half. Our initial visit is tailored to a simple goal: put the client at ease, figure out what went wrong, then address the issue. Your first time here will be an hour long process involving a detailed discussion, a physical exam, and treatment.

We also take care to accomplish another very important goal on day one: establish trust. That’s why we don’t waste your time with nonsense therapies or silly lectures. We are going to get right down to the business of getting you upright and walking normally. Instead of trying to dazzle you with garbage marketing or expensive junk we are going to literally adjust, stretch, decompress, and otherwise work to alleviate your problem. The proof will be in the pudding, as the saying goes.

Eat it.
The proof is apparently contained within the pudding.

So, if you are right now all bent out of shape and struggling to get through your days because of pain, then please do give us a call. We probably take your insurance, we are definitely really awesome people, and we can in all likelihood provide you some real relief.

How Long Will You Let Your Shoulder and Neck Be Painful and Stiff?

So, it started a few weeks or even months ago. At first it was BAD…so bad you couldn’t look all the way left or right. It got better, and eventually you were able to look all the way to the side. Or…is there some range of motion you didn’t quite recover? It’s sort of hard to tell, isn’t it? And you still have that constant aching knot in your shoulder, and that crappy feeling at the base of your skull behind your ear, don’t you?

Don't pout, figure it out.
Don’t pout, figure it out.

This is how it starts and ends for lots of people. They have a problem, they decide to just let it get better on it’s own.

After a while it definitely isn’t as bad as it was, and instead of waging some sort of active campaign to get over the injury you just sort of ignore it until it seems like it’s not such a hassle any more.

Eventually you really aren’t even sure if it is better, if you ever were able to look that far to the side in the first place, and if maybe you aren’t just “getting old”.

That is called surrendering. It’s called not even trying.

At Park Bench Chiropractic we don’t much care if you come see us or another chiropractor, or even some other type of healthcare provider. Sure, we’d prefer you come see us, but the more important thing is that you don’t just ignore a problem and learn to live with it. “Living with it” is a tiny example of surrendering, and making 1,000 tiny concessions to your pain is how people go from able-bodied and energetic to creaky and tired. Rather than shrugging those sore shoulders and shaking that stiff neck you should focus on resolving your physical injury and getting back to how you felt before things started going sideways.

Can we fix your neck? Sure, maybe, probably! We can only tell you that after we’ve met you and examined you, but if it’s the nasty sore, stiff neck thing lots of people get, then we can probably help resolve that. If you are in Frederick and you are interested in coming in to try chiropractic, then give us a call at (301) 378-0334.

Looking for a chiropractor in Frederick?

Well, that’s convenient, because that is what Park Bench Chiropractic is.

We are a down-to-Earth office, we focus on meeting your needs, we try to keep things light-hearted, and we know what it’s like to be living in pain.

If you are a first-timer, and have never been adjusted, then please feel comfortable coming in and seeing what we can do for you. If you are a person who has seen chiropractors before, we invite you to see how we operate here. We have a family-friendly atmosphere, we keep some good tunes on in our office, our office manager is a sweetheart and she gets things done for our clients, and we go out of our way to make everyone feel at home. We honestly think that we are your ideal chiropractors, and sincerely hope that you choose to trust us to be your chiropractor.

You’re encouraged to ask friends and family members about us, if any of them have been to see us. The Internet is also full of places you can read reviews about us, so please feel free to take that route. Have a great day!