Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is a condition whereby blood vessels and/or nerves are impinged at the area around the base of the neck and/or the top of the shoulder. Symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling or coldness in the arm, hand or fingers. Frequently the symptoms are similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is impingement of the median nerve at the wrist. TOS can present with identical symptoms and is often mistaken for CTS. With TOS, blockage can occur an numerous locations other than the wrist, though primarily between the scalene muscles of the neck and/or between the collarbone and first rib. Other areas that can cause similar symptoms but aren’t technically TOS are spinal nerve impingement in the neck, and nerve impingements at the elbow and forearm. One of the most common complaints with TOS is waking up with numbness in the arm or hand.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is usually easily corrected by addressing muscle imbalances of the neck, shoulder, and arm, addressing repetitive stresses and improving rib/spine mobility. However, it is common practice in the allopathic medical community to address TOS surgically by removing the first rib. You read that right… removing a rib.
If any of the above symptoms sound familiar to you or you’ve received a diagnosis of TOS or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and would like a free evalutation, give me a call.