Thoracic outlet syndrome is a general term for a condition that causes pain in the shoulder, arms, and neck due to compression of neurovascular structures (blood vessels or nerves) in the neck. Causes and risk factors of this syndrome include:
- Repetitive activity
- Prior shoulder/neck trauma
- Postural abnormalities
- Bodybuilding with improper techniques
The patient often complains of a tingling sensation or numbness in the upper arm and shoulder, or pain radiating down into the hand. The most common type of pain travels down the inside of the arm.
A physical exam will look for signs such as muscle weakness indicated by decreased grip strength, or tenderness in the shoulder-neck area.
If no major loss of function is present in patients, conservative treatment is encouraged for approximately 3 months. This treatment plan suggests many techniques that our clinic provides. Including, but not limited to:
- Osseous mobilization/manipulation
- Myofascial trigger point therapy
- Electrotherapy à ultrasound
85% of patients will show improvement in their condition with appropriate multidisciplinary conservative treatments.