Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
There are several types of thoracic outlet syndrome. All types involve compression or irritation of the nerves or blood vessels as they travel down into the arm. This can result in tingling, numbness, swelling, and pain. Often the compressive forces are between the 1st rib and the collarbone and in some people a cervical rib is present (an extra rib). Sometimes thoracic outlet comes on for no identifiable reason, but it can also be due to car accident related trauma, repetitive strain at work or in a sport setting, sustained postures, or pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms can include:
- Cold fingers hands and/or arms
- Numbness and tingling in the arm or fingers
- Pain in the neck, hand or arm
- Color changes in the hand or arm
- Weak grip/dropping things
- Swelling in the hand or arm
- Weak pulse in your arm
- Tired, heavy or achy arm
Treatment can include postural change, behaviour modification, strength and stretch exercises and manual therapy and release techniques to decrease the compression. If further medical intervention is required your therapist will send a note to your doctor to request it.