We get a lot of questions about Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and how we can help with it. The first step would be to let you know what the syndrome actually is. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a condition caused by compression of nerves or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet, the area between the base of the neck and the armpit, including the front of the shoulders and chest.
There are three types of TOS:
- Vascular. This can be a compression of the artery and vein.
- Neurogenic. The nerves become compromised from an extra cervical rib, present at birth.
- Disputed or painful form. There is no neurological deficit but patients experience neurological symptoms and pain. Typically these patients’ electrodiagnostic studies (EMG / NCV) are normal, but they complain of pain.
But how do you know if this is the cause of your pain? There are several symptoms of the problem.
- Neck, shoulder, and arm pain
- Numbness in the arm, hand or fingers
- Impaired circulation to the extremities (causing discoloration)
- Weakness in the shoulders, arm and hands
- A comprehensive clinical exam, including neurological exams
- Complete medical history
- Imaging studies such as X-rays and/or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- Electrodiagnostic studies (EMG)
If we determine that Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is the culprit, we will then move on to treatment. There are a variety of ways to treat the issue BEFORE surgery, including:
- Physical therapy with careful nerve stretching movements performed by a qualified and experienced physical therapist with experience treating TOS.
- Injections with nerve blocking agents to suppress pain and reduce swelling and compression.
- Acupuncture. Some patients with TOS have found relief using acupuncture.
If surgery is required, Neuropax Clinic is prepared to perform surgery on the affected area and alleviate your Thoracic Outlet Syndrome pain. Call us today at 314-434-7784, email email@example.com or fill out our new patient form at www.neuropaxclinic.com today. We are ready to help alleviate your Thoracic Outlet pain.