Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a fairly rare condition that involves pain in your neck and shoulder, along with numbness and tingling of your fingers. The condition usually affects only one side of your body, and often also causes a weakness in the grip of your affected hand. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is technically a compression of the nerves at the superior thoracic outlet (the space between your collarbone and your first rib). This compression can be caused by physical trauma (such as a car accident), repetitive injury from work or sport-related activity, a lung tumour, having an extra cervical rib, or from pregnancy (due to a natural tendency to take on a temporary buildup of fluids).

Your doctor will likely diagnose you with TOS via electromyography, a CT angiogram, an MRI, a nerve conduction velocity study, or with x-ray. The focus of tests will be to determine whether your TOS is related to compression of your brachial plexus nerves, your subclavian artery, or your subclavian vein. It is also common for doctors to rule out other issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Treatment options are conventionally viewed as physical therapy, pain medication, blood thinners, and potentially even surgery.

How can natural medicine help?

Natural medicine can help with thoracic outlet syndrome in a variety of ways. Registered massage therapy can help relax the muscles around your neck and shoulders and thereby relieve pressure on the area. Acupuncture and TCM can do more of the same, while also improving blood flow and helping nerve conduction. Private, restorative yoga can help you improve your posture, thereby relieving your pain and numbness.

Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you with thoracic outlet syndrome.

These links may also be helpful:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Pregnancy