Scalene Trigger Point differential diagnoses

Scalene trigger points cause a great number of symptoms of varied nature, and so they can often originate a wrong diagnosis.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Often, the symptoms attributed to Carpal Tunnel conditions are instead directly caused by trigger points in the Scalenes. Moreover, tight Scalenes can compress the Subclavian vein resulting in decreased blood flow and peripheral edema, another reason for erronously diagnosing a Carpal Tunnel condition. So, often trigger points in the Scalene muscles lead to a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome diagnosis and to unnecessary surgery to relieve what is wrongly believed to be the cause of the condition. It would be wiser to try Trigger Point therapy first, if administered by a competent massage therapist (please note that not all massage therapists are competent in Trigger Point therapy).

Erniated Disk

Often, Scalene trigger points cause shoulder and arm neurological and motor symptoms which give rise to a diagnosis of radiculopathy, i.e.nerve compression, from herniated cervical disk. Often, this diagnosis is corroborated by x-ray or other visual diagnostic exams. However, when the patient, as often happens, finds relief from those symptoms following a trigger point massage therapy session, then logic brings us to the conclusion that those symptoms were not caused by the herniated disk, but by Scalene trigger points. But this experimental evidence is all too often ignored and many patients undergo risky cervical hernia reduction surgeries which may turn out to be not only unnecessary but also dangerous as any such type of operation can be.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is often caused by the tight muscle bundles from Scalene trigger points, which pull upward the first and second ribs and cause entrapment of subclavan and axillary blood vessels, and of the Brachial Plexus. In extreme cases, patients have undergone surgical resection of the muscle, when a few trigger point massage sessions would likely have been very helpful without resorting to the scalpel.

Cervical RibAngina and cardiovascular problems

Obviously, medical diagnostic thecnology should be able to rule out cardiovascular problems when symptom of chest pain and arm pain and numbness are present. What sometimes happens though, is that a patient has been experiencing such symptoms for some time but has not been checked by a cardiologist. In these cases, the urgent thing to do is go to the emergency room and have a complete heart checkup. Only after a cardiologist has ruled out heart conditions, then it makes sense to have Scalene tigger point massage therapy because there is then a good chance that such symptoms as chest and arm pain, or arm and hand numbness, may be cause by trigger points in the Scalene and/or other muscles of the upper body.