SCALENE muscles of the neck:

In addition to flexing, rotating, and stabilizing the neck, the scalene muscles also elevate the 1st and 2nd ribs during inhalation. The diaphragm is responsible for normal, relaxed breathing, but muscles like the scalenes help the rib cage to expand when greater effort is required, such as with exercise or with respiratory pathologies such as asthma.

When the scalenes are over taxed, neck mobility may become limited, shallow or dysfunctional breathing may occur, as well as compression of the brachial plexus or subclavian artery.

This compression can lead to thoracic outlet syndrome which can be exhibited as pain, weakness, numbness, or even heavy sensations in the affected hand/arm. Due to the nature of these symptoms, thoracic outlet syndrome often times gets mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome.


Posted on May 15, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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