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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The thoracic outlet is a small space between the collarbone and the first rib. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that involve compression, injury, or irritation of the nerves, blood vessels, or veins in the thoracic outlet. This can cause pain in the shoulders and neck and numbness in the fingers. The cause of the compression can vary and may include: Anatomical defects: Inherited defects present at birth or an abnormally tight fibrous band connecting the spine to the rib. Poor posture: Drooping the shoulders or holding the head in a forward position can cause compression in the thoracic outlet area. Trauma: A traumatic event, such as a  car accident or a fall. Repetitive activity: Doing the same activity over and over can wear on the body’s tissues.

What are the symptoms of TOS?  Numbness or tingling in hte neck, shoulder, arm, or fingers, An ache in the arm or hand, Weakening grip, Difficulty with fine-motor tasks.

Compression of one or more veins and arteries can result in symptoms such as Bluish discoloration of the hand, Swelling or puffiness in the arm or hand, Coldness of hands or fingers, throbbing lump near the collarbone, Deep pain in the neck and shoulder region that may increase at night, Easily fatigued arms and hands.

In the vast majority of neurological TOS cases, a conservative, non-surgical approach to treatment is most effective, especially when the condition is diagnosed early. A chiropractic treatment plan for TOS may include a mix of joint mobilization/manipulation, home stretching exercises, and soft tissue therapy.

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