thoracic outlet


Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is a condition that affects the nerves and blood vessels that run through the thoracic outlet, the space between the neck and collarbone. This condition can cause various symptoms, such as numbness, pain, and swelling in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. It is typically caused by physical factors such as poor posture, repetitive motions, or injury to the neck and shoulders. It is more common in people who work long hours at a computer, athletes, or manual labourers.


The symptoms of TOS can be debilitating and impact a person's daily life. It can cause weakness, tingling, and pain in the hands, fingers, arms, and shoulders, which can be severe enough to limit a person's ability to perform everyday tasks, such as typing, driving, or even carrying a heavy bag.

Diagnosis of TOS can be challenging, as symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or other conditions, such as disc herniations. A chiropractor may perform a physical exam, including a range of motion and strength tests, and may request an X-ray, or other investigations to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for TOS typically starts with non-invasive measures, such as chiropractic adjustments, exercises, and lifestyle changes. Chiropractic adjustments can help improve posture, reducing the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the thoracic outlet. exercises can help to strengthen the neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles, which can help to reduce the risk of TOS.

Lifestyle changes also play a crucial role in managing TOS. Simple modifications such as using ergonomic equipment at work, avoiding carrying heavy bags on one shoulder, and taking frequent breaks to stretch can help to reduce the risk of developing TOS. Additionally, avoiding repetitive motions, such as typing for long periods, can help prevent TOS from becoming a problem.

In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to relieve the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the thoracic outlet. However, this is typically a last resort and is only recommended after conservative treatments have failed to produce the desired results.

In conclusion, TOS can be a debilitating condition impacting a person's daily life. If you are experiencing symptoms of TOS, it is important to seek help from a chiropractor who can diagnose and treat the condition effectively. With the right treatment and lifestyle modifications, it is possible to manage TOS and enjoy a pain-free life

Suffering from neck or arm pain?  Give us a call, and we can help.

Sun Chiropractic

Sun Chiropractic

Staff Writer

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