Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The Thoracic Outlet is a tunnel whereby nerves and arteries from the neck run through to get to the arms and hands. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) occurs when the nerves and/or arteries are compressed as they travel downward into the arm. Compression can occur at various sites from the neck down to the hands. This condition is characterized by having diffuse arm symptoms, including numbness and tingling. Often the symptoms will follow a path down the inside of the arm to the little ring fingers. This is often made worse by overhead activity. Contributing factors to TOS include poor posture (forward head and rounded shoulders), muscular imbalances (tight chest, weak back), trauma, cervical ribs, carrying heavy loads and occupations or sports with overhead arm movements (ie: swimming, volleyball, tennis, baseball pitchers). Treatment is aimed at restoring normal mechanics to the neck and shoulder and establishing the correct balance between the postural stabilizing muscles. This is accomplished by breaking down scar tissue formation in the tight muscles with Targeted Soft Tissue Therapy and strengthening the weak postural stabilizing muscles with Functional Rehabilitation.