Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) will exhibit symptoms of neck, shoulder, and arm pain. In most cases, tingling and numbness in the forearm and/or fingers will also be present. Occasionally, discoloration of the hands may occur as decreased circulation to the upper extremities will be present.
TOS is caused by compression of the nerves and blood vessels that supply the upper extremities via the thoracic outlet. Any condition that results in the enlargement or movement of the tissues within or around the thoracic outlet can lead to symptoms of TOS. Weightlifting, congenital cervical ribs, weight gain, and forward drawn postures may all lead to TOS symptoms.
Most people will encounter TOS symptoms at some point in their lives. With the scalene muscles acting as accessory muscles for breathing, there is an increased tendency to become tight and overactive. Chiropractic adjustments to the neck and 1st rib will improve motion and help to decrease spasms that may occur within the scalene muscles. It is also very important to receive light massage to the scalenes and pectorals in order to lengthen the muscles and induce proper nerve and blood vessel flow. Taking the necessary time throughout your day to stretch the neck, shoulders, and pectoral muscles is beneficial in maintaining proper posture and reducing the chance of developing TOS.