A few days ago, we learned from the news that Matt Harvey, pitcher for the New York Mets, was going undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. This surgery will put an end to his baseball season. In this surgery, they will cut the anterior Scalene muscle and remove the first rib. It takes from 4 to 6 months to recover from such an intevention. But thoracic outlet syndrome could be treated with acupuncture, without ruining Harvey’s pitching season.

Photo : Wikimedia Commons. Nicholas Zaorsky, M.D

Photo : Wikimedia Commons. Nicholas Zaorsky, M.D

Thoracic outlet syndrome is caused by a compression or nerves and blood vessels in thight spaces in the lower part of the neck, under the collarbone, or in the armpit. The main symptoms are pain and tingling in the hand and fingers. Scalene muscles an/or a Pectoralis minor that are too thight or inflammed are the usual culprits.


It is possible to release the tension in these muscules with an acupuncture needle, thus eliminating or reducing the pain and tingling sensation. The combinaition of the treatment of trigger points with acupuncture, tuina massage and some exercises can treat thoracic outlet syndrome.

Although acupuncture is gaining popularity among professional athletes, it is still a rather marginal approach. Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey could possibly have avoided an invasive surgery and a long recovery had he seen an acupuncturist competent in sports medicine.

To know more about acupuncture, contact us using the contact link on this page. You can make an appointment by clicking this link or by calling us at 514-245-9191.




Références :

Travell & Simons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. 1998.