Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a rare condition that can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back with tingling down the arm into the hand and weakened grip strength. It is caused by compression of the nerves and blood vessels that sit between the base of the neck and the armpit. Tight musculature, having an extra rib or poor movement of the first rib, and very rarely tumor can cause enlargement of the structures in the thoracic outlet, leading to symptoms.
Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet syndrome
- Neck, shoulder, arm pain
- Numbness in the arm or hand
- Coldness/clamminess in hand/upper extremity
- Weakness in grip
Treatments for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Physical therapists are trained in safe techniques to improve pain symptoms and reduce muscle tension in the neck contributing to thoracic outlet syndrome. Treatments include tailored stretching, improvements of postural deficits, muscle strengthening.
Things to Avoid:
- Prolonged reaching overhead
- Sleeping with arms overhead or under pillows
- Heavy lifting or strong pulling on the arms
It is recommended to take frequent breaks when performing any active movements to reduce risk of fatigue. Pain medication and muscle relaxers can also be beneficial in some cases.
We treat patients in the Clermont 34711 and Ocoee 34761 area for shoulder pain and thoracic outlet!