Diagnosis - Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a type of Brachial Plexus lesion involving compression of the neural (nerves) and/or vascular (blood vessels) structures between the rib cage, collarbone and neck:

Compression can occur at 3 sites:

1.) At an abnormal cervical rib.
2.) At the clavicle (collarbone).
3.) At the anterior muscles of the neck called the Scalenes.


Symptoms:
Pain, numbness/tingling in the pinky and ring fingers (4th and 5th digits) and the inner forearm. Pain and tingling in the neck and shoulders areas which can be worsened by carrying something heavy. Poor circulation in the hand or forearm (a bluish color, cold hands, or a swollen arm.) Weakness of the muscles in the hand and arm.

Causes:

Sporting injuries, trauma such as Whiplash resulting from car or motorcycle accidents, poor posture, carrying heavy backpacks, birth trauma and other rare conditions such as tumors can cause Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. 

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis of TOS is made by seeing a Doctor familiar with this condition which includes a thorough history, physical exam and Orthopedic and Neurologic tests and may include diagnostic tests such as: X-ray, MRI, CT angiogram and Electrodiagnostic evaluation (nerve tests).

Treatment:

In non-severe cases, most cases of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can resolve without the need for surgical intervention. Chiropractic treatment includes: cervical spine and clavicle manipulation, soft tissue procedures such as transfriction massage or myofascial release, therapeutic exercises to stretch the scalene muscles and postural exercises. 

At Peninsula Spine & Sports Rehabilitation in San Mateo, we offer a Chiropractic solution which is unique in that it addresses the osseous (bony) and soft tissue causes of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. This condition is becoming increasingly prevalent due to poor posture associated with long-term computer use. Call us at (650) 347-2225 for your initial consultation with Dr. Hindocha.
 
Author
Dr. Rommel Hindocha, D.C. QME Dr. Rommel Hindocha, QME, is a licensed chiropractor and provides spine health and sports rehabilitation treatments to patients in the greater Burlingame, California, area. Dedicated to helping patients live pain-free lives, Dr. Hindocha continues to research and employ the latest proven treatment options for chronic and acute pain and is certified by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

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