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.

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!