What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)?
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when the blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) become compressed. The neurovascular structures can also become compressed by the scalene and/or pectoralis musculature.
What are the common signs and symptoms?
The signs and symptoms for TOS vary patient to patient. However, they can include:
– Numbness or tingling in the arms and/or fingers.
– Pain in your neck, shoulder, head, and/or hand
– Weakened grip
– Weak pulse or no pulse at the wrist
– Arm fatigue after activity
– Cold arm and hand
– Swelling of the arm and/or hand
What are some causes of TOS?
– Anatomical defects such as a cervical rib
– Poor posture.
– Trauma such as a motor vehicle collision or sports injury.
– Repetitive activity such as typing, assembly line work, stocking shelves, pitching, ect.
– Pressure on joints, such as wearing a heavy backpack constantly or from obesity.
– Pregnancy due to joint laxity.
How does Pathway Wellness help with TOS?
The first thing we do at Pathway Wellness is give you a thorough examination to determine if TOS is the actual cause of your presenting symptoms. There are other conditions, such as a cervical disc herniation, that can mimic many of the symptoms of TOS. Once a specific diagnosis has been made, we can begin treating the issue using a variety of methods such as massage, Graston Technique, chiropractic manipulation, dry needling, stretching, and/or specific rehabilitation exercises designed to treat TOS. We may also send you home with exercises to do on your own to expedite your recovery.
If we feel that your case is not something we can help with, we will also refer you to the proper specialist so you can get the care you need.