If any or several of these situations sound familiar, you may be experiencing symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).
What is TOS?
TOS is a condition characterized by pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in your arm or hand caused by compression or pressure of nerves or blood vessels. The nerves that go to your arm and hand come out of the spine at your neck and pass through an area called the thoracic outlet. The thoracic outlet is an area bordered by your first rib, shoulder blade and collarbone. Attaching to these bones are several muscles which help to control movements of your neck and shoulder. These bones and muscles form a “tunnel” (the thoracic outlet) for your nerves, arteries and veins to pass through. If this outlet becomes narrowed, these structures can become compressed and contribute to the above symptoms.
What causes TOS?
Several factors can contribute to TOS and common causes include:
The good news?
TOS can be treated with physical therapy as the first line of treatment! Your physical therapist will perform an examination to assess your strength, range of motion, neural tension, posture and body mechanics. Typical treatment will include therapeutic exercises to address muscle imbalances, manual therapy to address alignment dysfunction and to decrease muscle/neural tension, modalities for pain relief, and a home exercise program to allow you to decrease symptoms and to keep them from coming back!
What can I do right now?
FINALLY- don’t wait when you can get real help NOW!
Call to make an appointment with a physical therapist! At Breakaway Physical Therapy, we are ready to help! Call us to make an appointment with one of our highly skilled physical therapists at 410-721-6333! We look forward to working with you!