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Are you experiencing Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)?

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) typically presents with symptoms down the arm into the hand.  As a result, a person will experience a feeling of tingling, pins and needles.  In more severe cases they will feel numbness in one or both arms.  

The most common time for these symptoms to present themselves is first thing in the morning.  Have you ever woken up with a part of your arm or hand dead asleep?  Only to roll over or change positions and have the feeling slowly return?  That is an early sign of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).  

What is actually happening here?

Two different types of structures can be effected with this injury.  The first being the occlusion of the neurological signal traveling through the nerves that exit the side of the cervical spine and then travel down through the shoulder/armpit and into the rest of the arm, forearm and hand.  

Thoracic outlet refers specifically to the occlusion of these nerves as they pass under the clavicle and past the glenohumeral joint.  

The second type of TOS involves the vascular structures as they pass through the same area.  This can result in the arm and hand feeling very cold, even turning pale or blue in most severe cases.  

Neither of the above sound like your pain?  Check out our pages on Shoulder Pain or the Rotator Cuff.

Causes of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

This type of injury can be related to very poor posture from weak back musculature or the overtraining of anterior structures of the body (chest).

This can also be due to scar tissue build-up between certain adjacent structures that the vascular and neurological structures run next to on their from the neck to the hand.  

Drs. Zelasko and McCrea have advanced training in treatments that are specifically geared towards breaking these adhesions down between the muscles and nerves/vessels in the body so that normal function returns and symptoms dissipate.

For additional information on TOS, check out this page.

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