Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

What is thoracic outlet syndrome?

The thoracic outlet is the space between the collar bone and the first rib, through which a bundle of nerves and blood vessels travels into the arm, down to the hand, and into the fingers. When blood vessels and nerves are compressed, it can result in symptoms such as pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the arms and hands, which is referred to as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Factors such as tight muscles, anatomical abnormalities, or external pressures (such as bra straps or backpacks) may be responsible for compressing the nerves and blood vessels.

Common Symptoms

  • Weakness of the arms or hands
  • Pain in the arms or hands
  • Numbness, tingling, or cold sensations in the arms and hands
  • Increased symptoms with certain head or arm positions

Treatment Strategies

In order to treat Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, therapists will use techniques to relieve compression of the blood vessels and nerves. Reducing muscle spasm, correcting posture, and strengthening supporting musculature may be part of the treatment plan. Book a physiotherapy, chiropractic, or massage therapy  appointment with one of our skilled clinicians to help you through the recovery process.